Lamont meets with Ukrainian Refugees on Campus


Nathalia Blair

Officials pose with Ukrainian refugees.

Nathalia Blair, Staff Writer

Governor Ned Lamont came to campus for a rally in solidarity with Ukraine natives on Thursday of last week, the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Alongside Gov. Lamont were President Zulma Toro, Commissioner Andrea Barton Reeves, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, Rep. Johanna Hayes, Sen. Richard Bloom, Rep. Joe Courtney, and four Ukraine refugees.  

Gov. Lamont said he wanted young people and elders to continue to be reminded why the support of Ukraine is important. He said he wants to give people of the Ukraine the ability to persevere and fight for their freedom.  

“I just need support, I need artillery, and we’ve been slow to do that. Giving people of Ukraine the ability to stand up for freedom, to stand up for hope for their own country.” Lamont said.  

Lamont said the murders in Ukraine should not be tolerated.  

“This is a crime of humanity. This is incredible. The ruthlessness of the murders going on there and right now,” Lamont said. “It shall not stand and won’t stand on my watch. I hope it will not stand on your watch this generation.”  

Blumenthal said Ukraine should be provided with what they need to get through this war.  

“I’m not asking for a blank check or asking for a paycheck. I’m asking the United States of America to put its money where its mouth is,” Blumenthal said. “We have done this consistently throughout our history. I’m proud we have bipartisan support by partisan support in the United States Congress.”  

Blumenthal also said that if Vladimir Putin isn’t stopped, he will go against the NATO countries and the United States.  

“This is not only about their independence and freedom if Vladimir Putin isn’t stopped in Ukraine, if he is allowed to win,” Blumenthal said. “He will go against the NATO countries and the U.S. will have troops on the ground if he attacks a NATO nation because we were obligated by treaty to do it.”  

Commissioner of Social Services Andrea Barton Reeves said the Department of Social Services had established state resources that support Ukrainians and other refugees.  

“The state has continued to coordinate state financial and operational resources to support the frontline refugee resettlement agencies as they serve arriving Ukrainians. In addition, [“Department of Social Services”] has directly provided over 1000 recently arrived Ukrainian households with assistance,” Reeves said. “Such as medical coverage and other essential services. In addition to that the [Connecticut State College and University] system has been working with state and resettlement agencies to help enroll Ukrainians and other refugees in our colleges and universities which we know are some of the finest in the nation.”  

Elena Koulidobrova, a Linguistic professor at CCSU, said she wanted to see the turnout of the rally and to see what congress officials and the governor’s office would say. She said she stands with what Blumenthal said she also wishes tragedies affecting people of color and other groups received as much attention.

After the rally, a petition for the “Ukrainian Adjustment Act” was advertised by Svetlana Moskvitch which would allow Ukrainian refugees to have a permanent stay and work status to prevent executive oddities depending on who is in office.