Waikato's European community is standing in solidarity with the Ukraine as the region's Ukrainian community gathered for a protest in Hamilton on Saturday.
People from Poland, Estonia, Portugal and Hungary showed their support and raised awareness of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Chairman of Ukrainian Association of New Zealand (North), Yuriy Gladun, was at the Hamilton protest and says the Ukrainian community had been flooded with support.
"I receive dozens of emails every day with people asking me, 'How can we help?', some offer clothing, some offer accommodation for potential refugees, some offer money."
Hamilton City Council showed its support through lighting up Victoria Bridge in the Ukrainian colours over the past two weeks and ordered a Ukrainian flag that is set to be put up on the council building soon.
"Lighting up Victoria Bridge, the flag, all those little things also show us support, show us that we are not alone."
Protester and Portuguese-German Filomena Clara Rodrigues says as a European she couldn't agree with what is going on in the Ukraine.
"This genocide has to stop, Putin needs to be stopped ... This is not only about the Ukraine, this is about all of Europe because Putin won't just stop with the Ukraine. Sanctions are not going to stop [him], the Moscow leadership needs to be hit hard."
Protester Andras Perfalui, originally from Hungary, says his home country and the Ukraine had a lot in common.
"The Ukraine is a very mixed nation and so is Hungary. We [Hungarians] know what it's like to live under Russian pressure, we know what freedom and independence mean. We share a common border, so an invasion [into Hungary] is very likely."
Protester Ilona Pohlmann from Poland was lost for words. "I am heartbroken," she said in tears.
Protester Ana Kahr from Estonia says she feels for the Ukraine. "This war affects all our countries in Europe."
Coordinator of the protest in Hamilton, Alina Dreksler, is originally from Crimea, the peninsula Russia invaded and annexed from the Ukraine in 2014.
"We used to be a tourism area because we have the [Black] sea. It's not touristic any more, it's all military."
She says her family and friends at home can only watch censored Russian TV.
"I try to talk to them about what's going on, but they don't want to believe it. It's hard because there is only one channel and the Russian TV doesn't tell the truth."
Gladun says while Hamilton was not a big city like Auckland, the Waikato had a big Ukrainian community.
"We have Ukrainians coming from Raglan, Te Awamutu, Cambridge, Tirau. They don't have anyone to join in their towns [because of the size], so they protest here.
"We protest, to show our presence, to get people involved, to show something is happening and to raise awareness."
Emilia Shyra, 12, came to the protest with her father, Yuriy Shyryy.
"My father is holding a sign that says 'Stand with Ukraine' and this is why I am here today. I am from Lviv and still have family there. It's really scary. It's horrendous what [Russia] does to the Ukraine."
She says when she started school at St Joseph's Catholic School in Fairfield, no one knew where her home country was.
"Now that it is all over the news, people are always checking in. It's so nice to see the support. My teacher said [the school] is considering doing a fundraising day of Caritas Ukraine, but there is no set date yet."
Gladun still has his sister and her family living in the Ukraine. When we spoke to him last, he said his family was in an area where it was reasonably quiet.
"Today the city where I was born was bombed. It is 500km from Kyiv and [my family] considered it safe to stay. Tomorrow my sister with her niece and the niece's 5-year-old son will leave for Poland. There is no safe place in the Ukraine any more."
His wife still has a sister, a brother and more extended family living in the Ukraine that don't know what to do.
"It's the story of every family in Ukraine.
"Russia thought they can invade and get their way in one or two days. Today it has been two weeks and they couldn't get their way so far.
"So now they are methodically destroying infrastructure, cities ... to make panic and to put the Ukrainian Government into the position to surrender because there are so many civil deaths. It's barbaric!"
The protest in front of the council building in Garden Place was the second in the city, after an initial protest the week before.
Hamilton West MP Dr Gaurav Sharma attended the first protest and says he shared the concerns of the Ukrainian community.
"I met up with a couple of members of the Ukrainian community in one of my constituent clinics. They told me about the protest the following day and I went to show my support."
He says he raised his concerns with the minister and the Labour Caucus.
"The Government has just approved another $4 million for humanitarian aid and is currently reviewing further options.
"All of us are definitely feeling for the people of Ukraine and we are doing our best to support them."
He says he also wanted to make clear that this was not about the Russian community, but about the Russian Government and the war.
"I heard from the Russian community that they received a bit of backlash in the past couple of weeks. [But] not all Russians, here or in Russia, are in favour of the war."
Ukrainian National Anthem
The Ukrainian national anthem carries the name "Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy i slava, i volia", meaning "The glory and freedom of Ukraine has not yet perished" and is officially called State Anthem of Ukraine.
The lyrics roughly translate to:
Ukraine's freedom has not yet perished, neither has her glory
Upon us, fellow Ukrainians, fate shall smile once more
Our enemies will vanish like dew in the sun
And we too shall rule, brothers, in a free land of our own
We'll lay down our souls and bodies to attain our freedom
And we'll show that we, brothers, are of the Cossack nation
We'll stand together for freedom from the Syan to the Don
We will not allow others to rule in our motherland
After singing the national anthem, Gladun exclaimed "Slava Ukraini!" (Glory to Ukraine) which was answered by the protesters with "Heroiam slava!" (Glory to the heroes).
It is a national salute, also known as a symbol of Ukrainian sovereignty and resistance.