Symbolic Run Unites Ukrainians and Supporters of Ukraine

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On Saturday, 26 August, a Ukrainian solidarity run was held at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) Botanical Garden. The symbolic event, which took place at the juncture of two important dates – the Independence Day of Ukraine (24 August) and the Day of Remembrance of the Defenders of Ukraine (27 August) – attracted around fifty students from Ukraine, Lithuania, and other foreign countries.

The run, initiated by VMU students from Ukraine, was also attended by the Secretary of the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Lithuania Illia Zvenyhorodskyi, VMU Vice-Rector for Communication Assoc. Prof. Vilma Bijeikienė, VMU Community Well-Being Coordinator Viktorija Starkauskienė, VMU Equal Opportunities Coordinator Laura Lapinskė, VMU Sports Centre Coach Assoc. Prof. Asta Mockienė, and other representatives of the University community.

Volodymyr Vasylenko, a doctoral student at VMU

“We appreciate your participation in this act of solidarity with Ukraine. Your remembrance of our heroes means a lot to us. It’s crucial for the global community to remember and support us continuously. Our brave soldiers defend not only our families and homes but also the values of the entire civilized world. By standing with us, you become a part of us, Ukrainians. You are also heroes to us—heroes who contribute to our fight for freedom!”, Volodymyr Vasylenko, a doctoral student at VMU and one of VMU’s student ambassadors, shared before the run.

According to the initiators, such events are vital for Ukraine as they implement the policy of remembrance and contribute to achieving highly significant goals – honouring and commemorating the families of the victims. Moreover, it is an event that unites Ukrainians and supporters of Ukraine.

Since the outbreak of the large-scale war in Ukraine, Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) has welcomed more than three hundred Ukrainian students and, on the initiative of the First Ladies of Lithuania and Ukraine, Diana Nausėdienė and Olena Zelenska, opened the Centre of Ukraine, a humanitarian and educational space established in the premises of VMU Education Academy in Vilnius. The Centre has already been visited by more than 24,000 Ukrainians. Ukrainians studying at VMU actively participate in community activities, volunteer at the Centre of Ukraine, and firmly believe that the experience gained at the University will aid them in rebuilding their homeland.

VMU was also among the first to offer assistance to Mariupol State University, which was relocated to Kyiv after the outbreak of the war. On the initiative of VMU Prof. Ineta Dabašinskienė, Mariupol State University joined the European University alliance Transform4Europe in May 2022. The support of international partners will facilitate the university’s re-establishment in its hometown Mariupol. Efforts are underway to establish the Mariupol State University Centre at VMU in the near future.


Fiki Andriansah

It was fun!!

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