CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The common refrain from people in the Capital Region’s Ukrainian-American community is a wish for a quick resolve to the Russian war on Ukraine and that President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gets more U.S. help.
“I am just hoping that Ukrainians are going to get enough weapons to push the Russians to the border. And everybody needs to understand Putin is not going to stop,” says Ukrainian Oksana Lupe.
Lupe is helping refugees from Ukraine as people they left behind are struggling with no heat or electricity as Russia targets civilian energy infrastructure. But she adds that hardships like this also strengthen their resolve to continue fighting.
“They have a high spirit, and they are saying better and no water no electricity no Russians,” said Lupe.
Saratoga’s Adam Israel started Letters of Hope for Ukraine as a fundraiser and has been to the war-torn area. Israel says he is planning a Christmas trip back to refugee camps on the border with Poland to bring much needed goods.
“It’s constantly changing. The needs are constantly changing. Obviously now it’s winter and Russia is essentially weaponizing winter and attacking the Ukraine power grid. So, now the needs are mainly warm clothes. Things like sleeping bags, long underwear, things to keep people warm,” said Israel.
This time Israel says his team will be traveling with 12 checked bags and will be wearing the boots for the troops on their flight. He says it is one of the easiest ways to get needed items to those who need it most.
Father Vasyl Dovgan of the St. Nicholas Ukraine Orthodox Church in Troy shared a special Christmas message.
“I would love to ask everyone to pray for each other and light the candle for each other and I ask for peace and may that peace come as soon as possible,” said Vasyl.