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Here are California organizations supporting Ukraine

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Andrew Nixon
/
CapRadio
A Ukraine peace rally at the Calif. State Capitol in Sacramento, on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Updated Feb. 28

Tens of thousands of Ukrainian immigrants call Sacramento County home, and many of them are still processing the shock they’ve felt at the Russian invasion into Ukraine that began early Thursday morning. U.S. President Joe Biden announced new sanctions against Russia Thursday and the Ukrainian military has been called to mobilize.

Vlad Skots, the chairman of Ukrainian American House in Sacramento, said he’s keeping up “basically 24/7” with what has been happening in the country.

“People who live there, they never expected Putin totally lost his mind and start to attack capital city and big towns in Ukraine,” Skovs said. “People are still shocked. They want to wake up. They’re saying ‘It’s not real. It’s not true.’”

Ruslan Gurzhiy, editor-in-chief for Slavic Sacramento, a newspaper serving the local Slavic population, called Russia’s actions “escalation” following the initial annexation of Crimea in 2014.

“This is really, really getting big,” he said. “As I communicate to my friends and their relatives in Ukraine … they compare it actually to … the Second World War. They say ‘Nazi Germany started the war at night.’”

Ukrainian immigrants are part of a broader Slavic community in Sacramento. Gurzhiy estimates that the bigger community — “a lot from Ukraine, a lot from Russia, a lot from Belarus” — is above 70,000. Many of them, Gurzhiy’s family included, were religious refugees who arrived in the 1980s and 1990s after the Soviet Union’s fall.

He says that he’s heard from many in the broader Slavic community that they hope the conflict does not continue to escalate.

“We're calling Belarussians, Russians, Ukrainians … to unite for peace in Ukraine,” he said.

Members of the Slavic-speaking community in Sacramento and supporters gathered at the Capitol Thursday afternoon to protest the Russian government’s actions.

How you can help

If you’re hoping to get involved with groups providing aid to affected Ukrainians, here are some ways to do so:

  • The Ukrainian American Coordinating Council, based in San Francisco, is raising funds to pay for medical supplies to ship to Ukraine. 
  • Palo-Alto based group Nova Ukraine puts together humanitarian aid packages for Ukrainians, and is currently raising funds to continue doing so. They also have a volunteer Facebook group
  • Revived Soldiers Ukraine raises money to pay for advanced rehabilitation for Ukrainian soldiers and medical aid for those in eastern Ukraine. You can donate to them here.
  • Hromada, a San Francisco-based organization, runs the Anhelyk Foundation, which collects money to send children whose families died from fighting in eastern Ukraine. It also provides college scholarships.
  • Ukrainian nonprofit Fight For Right is helping to coordinate shelter and resources for Ukrainians with disabilities. You can donate to them here.
  • Ruslan Gurzhiy, the editor-in-chief for Slavic Sacramento, started a GoFundMe to send food, water, gas and medications to Ukrainian refugees. You can donate here.
  • Culver City-based organization KidSave is currently raising funds here to provide transport, shelter and supplies to Ukrainian children and families.

If you know of an organization we should add to this list, please contact us at digiteam@capradio.org.

Correction: A previous version of this story mischaracterized chairman Vlad Skots’ position at Ukrainian American House and misspelled his last name. It has been corrected.