Posted on February 27 2014
Learn more about the conflict in Ukraine with t/f CEO Olena Sholomytska.
Q: "I'm Ukrainian and I cannot keep calm." What does that mean to you?
A: I have such close ties to Ukraine that it's hard to stay calm. Ukraine is where I was born, where I went to school and where my close friends and family reside. People are dying because of Ukraine's corrupt government, and to make matters worst, the government announced state of emergency in order to justify their right to attack peaceful demonstrators. How can I keep calm when I can't sleep at night not knowing whether my brother is still alive. One night he lost his hearing because of sound grenades and wasn't able to pick up his phone. I couldn't stay calm as I was worried I would never see him again. I cannot stop crying at the thought of all the people who risked their lives trying to protect their right for democracy. You can see for yourself here - and this is just one of many segments taken over the last 3 months in Ukraine:
Q: In what ways have you been involved?
A: It's impossible not to get involved as my brother was in Kiev on barricades almost every day. I would spent sleepless nights texting him and friends to make sure they were safe. Also, the demonstrations started when the temperature was at its lowest in Ukraine. But people were strong and in spite of minus 10fahrenheit weather, they were there night and day. I previously sent money to help buy foot warmers for demonstrators. We purchased over 3,000 warmers during those cold days.
Q: Why is it important to raise awareness about the conflict in Ukraine?
A: We live in a country where it's easy to forget about our basic human rights: free speech, equality and democracy. In America, people fought for these values and lives where lost to ensure a free and democratic society. Sometimes these privileges can be taken away in a blink of an eye, like in Ukraine. Watching those in Ukraine give up their lives for true freedom will help us remember how fortunate we are. It's important that we support Ukraine during these difficult times.
Q: How can people help?
A: There are a lot of ways to help support Ukraine. You can start by calling your local leaders and ask them for political support. You can also share news with friends and family to raise awareness and help spread news about the conflict in Ukraine. Also, you can help financially. Any monetary donation would go to medical aid and help those who lost a loved one, or attached during demonstrations.
Click here for more information and live coverage on Ukraine.