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Demonstrators call on Rep. James to back Ukraine aide


Demonstrators call on Rep. James to back Ukraine aide

Feb 28, 2024 | 2:57 pm ET
By Ken Coleman
Demonstrators call on Rep. James to back Ukraine aide
Pro-Ukrainian protesters outside Rep. John James' office | Photo provided by Olena Danylyuk

To commemorate the two-year anniversary since Russia invaded Ukraine, hundreds of Ukrainian supporters gathered in Detroit on Sunday.

There have been 31,000 Ukrainian soldiers killed, as well as tens of thousands of civilians, according to the Associate Press.

Demonstrators call on Rep. James to back Ukraine aide
John James at the Detroit Regional Chamber conference, Feb. 28, 2019 |Ken Coleman

On Monday, a group of Southeast Michigan residents rallied outside the district office of U.S. Rep. John James (R-Shelby Twp.) in Warren to demand he support aid for Ukraine that has been stalled in the GOP-controlled U.S. House. 

“Never could I have imagined bombs falling on my family in Ukraine, yet here we are,” Rochester Hills resident Marta Birko said. “It is heartbreaking to see Ukraine aid held up by Republicans in Congress as Ukrainians continue to fight for their right to exist. I have contacted Representative James to ask him to support the aid package to help Ukraine continue to fight against Russian attacks.”

A call and email to James’ office was not returned. 

Demonstrators described Russia’s attack on Ukraine as an assault against democracy and called the situation “dire.” 

The Democratic-led U.S.Senate has approved a military and economic aid bill for Ukraine with a bipartisan majority and President Joe Biden has asked for the U.S. House to bring the matter to a vote. However, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, has not done so. 

“We ask that Congressman John James support the military and economic bill for Ukraine and demand that Speaker Johnson bring it to the floor for a vote,” Olena Danylyuk, who participated in the demonstration.

About 50,000 Michigan residents are of Ukrainian ancestry, with the majority living in Southeast Michigan and in James’ 10th Congressional District. 

James, who was elected to his first term in the swing district in 2022, is a businessman and Iraq war veteran.

Seven Democrats are running in the August primary: Dr. Anil Kumar, former Judge Carl Marlinga, Rhonda Powell, Emily Busch, Tiffany Tilley, Diane Young and Bryan Steven.