Candlelight memorial 24.2 and an exhibition 26.2 remembers Ukrainian war victims

The public is invited to a candlelight memorial in Senate Square 24 February. On Monday 26 February the exhibition Unissued Diplomas will open in the lobby of the main building of the University. The exhibition tells the story of 40 Ukrainian students who died in the war, through diplomas that have not been awarded.

The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has continued for two years. Ukraine and its people need our help and support more than ever. We invite everyone in the city of Helsinki to light a candle for the victims of the war in Ukraine at the Light for Ukraine -event at Senate Square on Saturday February 24th at 5pm. With a sea of candles on the steps of the Helsinki Cathedral we shall send a strong message to Ukraine: The Finnish people have not forgotten you.

Next Saturday marks two years since Russia invaded and began a brutal full-forced attack on Ukraine. Even though war spreads darkness, we cannot let hope and light die. We must not forget about Ukraine, and we must not leave Ukrainians to survive on their own, because they are fighting for freedom and peace on behalf of us all. While this war rages on and human suffering increases, it is even more important to show our support for Ukraine.

The Light for Ukraine -event begins at 5pm with the ringing of the bells of Helsinki Cathedral followed by a minute’s silence. After this, candles will be placed on the steps of the Cathedral, and Ukrainian choirs and the YL Male Voice Choir will perform. Cemetery candles can be laid on the steps from 3pm onwards.

The organisers will provide 2,000 candles to be handed out on Senate Square. After the event, the candles will be collected by the Ukrainian Association in Finland, and sent out to the front in Ukraine, where their wax can be repurposed for energy and light sources.

You can participate in the event through social media by posting a picture of a candle or a candle emoji. The hashtags for this event are #WeMustNOTForget and #WeStandWithUkraine.

Programme for the Light for Ukraine -event

At 5pm, the event begins with the ringing of the bells of Helsinki Cathedral. Presenter Ira Hammerman will open the event. We will then observe a moment of silence for the victims of the war.

The song Plyve kacha is performed by Maailma choir directed by Saara Ruuska and two choirs from the Ukrainian Association in Finland; Perspiv choir directed by Uliana Burdina and Kalyna choir directed by Gregory Pass.

The representatives of the organisers and distinguished quests place their candles on the steps of the Cathedral.

The song Molytva za Ukrainu (A prayer from Ukraine) is performed by Maailma choir, Perpiv choir, Kalyna choir and child choir Yasni, directed by Sofiia Yakovyshyna."

At 5.30pm, the official programme ends with Finlandia Hymn performed by a triple quartet from the YL Male Choir.

The public may place their own candles of the steps of the Cathedral.

At 8pm the lights of the Helsinki Cathedral will be switched off and the candles collected to be sent to the front in Ukraine for energy and light sources.

*If you cannot make it at 5pm, you are welcome to light a candle at the steps of the Cathedral at 3-5pm and 5.30-8pm.

The event is organised by the Lutheran Churh in Helsinki, Mothersforpeace ry, and the Ukrainian Association in Finland in cooperation with the City of Helsinki, the University of Helsinki, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Finland and Iceland.

Exhibition Unissued Diplomas 26.2.– 4.3.2024

Unissued Diplomas is an exhibition, featuring the lives and identities of young students, who died in Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The project exhibits unissued diplomas to students, who put their education on hold to protect their country. They sacrificed their education, life goals, aspirations and dreams for the sake of their country. 

Stories of 40 Ukrainian students killed in the war unfold through the exhibition, which will be on display in 45+ universities worldwide from the 24th of February to the 4th of March. 

The exhibition gives a sharp reminder about the ongoing war in Ukraine and the price Ukraine, as a nation, is paying daily. It is organized by active Ukrainian youth in cooperation with Ukrainian Canadian Students’ Union SUSK and the University of Helsinki. 

Venue : University of Helsinki, Fabianinkatu 33, 00100 Helsinki 
Dates: 26.2.–4.3.2023,  Mon-Thu 8:00–20:00, Fri 8:00–18.00 and Mon 4.3. 8:00–18:00 
Free entry 

For more information about the exhibitioncontact student Mariia Fursina tel. +358 417 249 511  

Danylo Bolshakov

Danylo Bolshakov was a 22 years old student from Mariupol. He was very kind, sensible, responsible, and easily resolved conflict situations; he had a wonderful sense of humor. He studied Management of foreign economic activity at Mariupol State University. 

He devised plans with his girlfriend, and they aimed to live together. Danylo was expected to be promoted at work. 

He died rescuing his father and grandmother. He ran to the apartment, but the door was jammed when trying to get in. A Russian missile strike hit the house, causing it to collapse. Danylo was crushed with slabs of concrete, and he could not be retrieved out from under the rubble for a month and a half.