Edmonton Ukrainian group protests Russia at U-20 World Cup
Protestors rallied against Russia hosting 2018 FIFA World Cup
The under-20 World Cup soccer tournament is taking over Commonwealth Stadium this month but some Albertans are protesting a different soccer tournament.
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress hosted a rally Saturday night at the stadium during the Team Canada vs. Germany game to protest Russia hosting the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Organizers say that given the ongoing situation in Ukraine, Russia should not be allowed to play host.
- Pro-Russian rebels shoot down fighter jet, Ukraine says
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: fighting intensifies near crash site
- Sanctions over Crimea push Russia toward recession
- Crimea annexed by Russia with stroke of Putin's pen
"This is sick, this is wrong," said Serge Kostyuk, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. "Our message to people is, 'Do not support that.'"
The group is gathering signatures for a petition to put forward to FIFA to encourage them to revoke Russia's host status.
Pro-Russian rebels are accused by Ukraine of shooting down a Ukrainian fighter jet on Sunday, as well as a Malaysian Airlines passenger jet carrying 298 people on July 17.
The Malaysia Airlines disaster prompted some expectations in the West that Russia would scale back its involvement in the uprising in Ukraine's east, but the opposite seems to be the case.
In addition to producing evidence that rockets have been fired into Ukraine from Russia, the U.S. has said it has seen powerful rocket systems moving closer to the border.
Russia has consistently denied allegations that it is supporting the rebels with equipment or training.
Russia formally annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March following months of unrest in Ukraine that saw the country's pro-Russian president driven out of office.
Those protests followed the former president's rejection of a partnership agreement with the European Union in November 2013 that would have brought Ukraine closer to Europe.