Ukraine’s political leaders and Kyiv residents alike visited the French Embassy on the morning of Nov. 14 to convey their sorrow and show solidarity with the French people following yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Paris that left at least 127 dead.
President Petro Poroshenko, appearing in a black suit and tie, first laid flowers at the steps of the French on Reitarska Street in central Kyiv. Prime Minister Arseniy Yarsenyuk followed suit as well as most members of the Cabinet of Ministers, including Infrastructure Minister Andriy Pyvovarsky, Agriculture Minister Oleksiy Pavlenko, and Deputy Foreign Minister Danylo Lubkivsky.
Across from the embassy, Kyivans lined the street holding candles and placards that read, “Ukraine supports France” in the French language.
At least eight terrorists, armed with automatic weapons and explosives, struck seven separate locations in central Paris on the evening of Nov. 13 near a football stadium, shopping mall, theater and several eateries. They took hostages and shot to kill.
French President Francois Hollande was evacuated from the stadium where a friendly soccer match was being played between France and Germany.
Eight terrorists were killed, seven of whom by detonating suicide belts. At least 180 people were wounded as well.
Hollande accused the Islamic State group of conducting the series of attacks, while U.S. authorities blame terrorist group al-Qaeda because of the sophistication of the orchestrated assault.
The French president also declared a state of emergency and closed the nation’s borders, while urging Parisians to stay indoors.
Speaking in a televised address to the nation on Nov. 14, Hollande said the attacks were “an act of war” committed by the Islamic State group’s “terrorist army,” France24.com reported.
The French president said the atrocities were, “against France, against the values that we defend everywhere in the world, against what we are: A free country that means something to the whole planet.”
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in a statement. Itthreatened further attacks against France and saidthe killings were in response to airstrikes against its militants in Syria, adding France would remain a “key target,” The Guardian reported.