Fresno leaders raise Ukrainian flag to show support

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno and the surrounding community showed out in full force and in full support of Ukraine.

Tuesday morning, Fresno city and county leaders stood shoulder to shoulder with the Ukrainian people at Unity Park in Eaton Plaza.

Alongside the American flag, leaders raised the Ukrainian flag in solidarity with the Ukrainian people, who then sang the strong words from their National Anthem.

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"This flag-raising is not just a symbol of hope for Ukraine, but rather a crystal clear message that we, the city of Fresno, stand for democracy at large," says Nelson Esparza.

Natalie Ruvalcaba lives in Fresno, but the fight in Ukraine hits close to home for her.

Ruvalcaba's family lives in Odessa, the southern part of Ukraine.

She tells me she starts her day, every day now, calling to make sure her family is safe.

As the invasion continues, she worries deeply.
"I just called my sister and said keep the kids in the shelter because I want them alive," she said. "I don't want to see their tombs."

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She says they will not surrender, it's not in their nature.

"We are fighting, we are not giving up," Natalie said.

Ruvalcaba immigrated to the US and while she loves her country, she is thankful for the support from her friends and the community here in Fresno.

"I feel I am not alone here," she said. "I feel your help and I so much appreciate that."

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"I wanted the people from Ukraine to know not only do we stand with in solidarity and we raise the Ukrainian flag, but our doors are open in Fresno for any refugees from Ukraine," says Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer. "We have a lot of families here willing to accept them and already, some of those families have connected with the office of community affairs."
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