As Russian forces continue to invade Ukraine, Vail Mountain employees switched out the Russian flag that hung amidst the international banners east of the Vail roundabout with a Ukrainian flag.
The removal of the Russian flag happened swiftly and without ceremony. Vail’s Town Manager, Scott Robson, made it clear that hanging Ukraine’s blue and gold colors is an act of protest against Russia’s continued invasions into Ukrainian territory.
Robson is backed by the entire Town of Vail staff in his stance to support Ukraine. They knew it was an urgent matter to remove the Russian flag as quickly as possible. Robson stressed to Vail Daily in an interview that the Town of Vail felt they needed to stay true to their core democratic values and support Ukraine in these difficult times.
“Symbols are about all we can do right now,” Robson said to Vail Daily reporters.
Vail is widely known as an international resort, and Robson felt that hanging the Ukrainian flag in the main Vail roundabout shows the resort’s support for Ukrainian citizens.
The conditions in Ukraine are only continuing to get worse. So far, the UN has reported that over three million Ukrainian citizens have fled the country since Russia’s initial invasion. 636 Ukrainian citizens have been killed, 46 of those being children. 1,125 citizens have been severely injured from the Russian attacks.
Today, March 15, the Russian military bombed a 15-story apartment building in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv. One person has been confirmed dead after the attack, according to Newsweek. Ukrainian citizens have been watching in shock and horror as their livelihoods have been halted because of the Russian military.
Summit County made an official statement pledging support to Ukraine on Tuesday, March 8. “The Board of County Commissioners condemns Vladimir Putin’s violent attack on the people of Ukraine and strongly endorses severe economic sanctions and stringent export controls on Russia by the United States and other countries,” the board said.
According to Libby Stanford, Summit County government reporter, Governor Jared Polis created an executive order that severed ties with Russia. The executive order also declared Colorado as a safe space for Ukrainian refugees.