Bush, Clinton visit Ukrainian church in Chicago to lay flowers
Former Presidents George W. Bush and Clinton visited a Ukrainian church in Chicago on Friday, laying down flowers in a show of solidarity with the nation.
A video shared by the George W. Bush Presidential Center shows the 42nd and 43rd presidents each carrying yellow sunflowers wrapped in blue and yellow cloth to represent the Ukrainian flag.
The presidents placed the flowers outside of the Saints Volodymyr and Olha Catholic Church in Chicago, which is home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations in the U.S., ABC 7 Chicago reported.
Chicago is considered a sister city to Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. The Ukrainian Village, where Bush and Clinton visited, has deep and historic roots for the Ukrainian population, according to the Ukrainian National Museum.
Ukrainian immigrants started to populate the area that would become the Eastern European enclave during the first of four immigration waves beginning in 1870. The village is now home to three Ukrainian churches, as well as Ukrainian-owned businesses, a grammar school and a national museum.
Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, sparking a mass humanitarian crisis that has left nearly 6.5 million Ukrainians displaced. Russian forces have bombed civilian buildings, including a maternity hospital and a theater, and have killed at least 85 children and hundreds of civilians.
After the invasion began last month, both Bush and Clinton condemned the attack.
Bush called out Russian President Vladimir Putin for the “unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.”
Clinton tweeted that “Putin’s war of choice has unraveled 30 years of diplomacy and put millions of innocent lives in danger.”