By Annie Rose Ramos

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — It’s been only a week after Russia’s war on Ukraine started and the death count is unimaginable.

While Moscow says nearly 500 of its troops are dead, sadly the deaths are much higher for Ukraine—topping 2,800.

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Ever since the war started, people across the world have been doing what they can to show their support, including here in Maryland.

Today, Gov. Larry Hogan held a solidarity vigil for the people of Ukraine.

“Here in Maryland, we stand on the side of peace and freedom,” Hogan said.

About 150–200 folks attended the vigil. It began with a prayer from a reverend from a Ukrainian orthodox church in Silver Spring who said the world is crying for Ukraine as this war has brought about a profound, shared pain.

He also pleaded for the public’s continued prayers and support.

Marylanders want to show Ukrainians that they are not alone.

“This is not just a war against innocent people. It’s complete genocide,” Dorothy, a Howard County resident, said.

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Meanwhile, Daria, a teacher in Howard County. says many of her students have family members in Ukraine 

“They just say my dad is figuring out a way to get my aunt out and things like that,” she said.

Hogan has made moves to distance Maryland from Russia. He has advised the trustees of the Maryland State and Retirement Pensions System/

“We want to do something so we’re going to put financial pressure on the oligarchs,” Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said.

Franchot said he is putting pressure on wealthy Russians who have investments in Maryland to sway Russian President Vladimir Putin

“This small group of—they’re kind of mafia-type people around Putin and we’re gonna say: look. you’re not gonna be very wealthy when this is over,” he said.

But for Daniel whose sister is in Ukraine, all he can do is hope and pray.

“Glory to the country glory to our heroes who are standing up to Mister Putin right now,” Daniel said.

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On Thursday, Maryland lawmakers will hold a hearing with the state’s pension system to better understand its investments and potential steps for divestment from Russia.

Annie Rose Ramos