After President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put out a call for Ukrainian-Americans to come home and fight — complete with a handy QR code to register — around 1,400 Bay Area Ukrainians are trying to do just that.
The latest on the terrifying fire at the Ukrainian nuclear power plant, as far as we know, is that according to CNN, Russian forces are now occupying the facility, with (yikes) “managers working at ‘gunpoint’ after a fire caused by their attack was extinguished.”
In the face of more alarming developments every day, the Chronicle has a roundup of ways to help the Ukrainian resistance, including humanitarian aid to Ukraine, aid to orphaned Ukrainian children, and aiding the country’s armed forces through the National Bank of Ukraine.
#StandWithUkraine rally organized by the Ukrainian🇺🇦 community in Northern #California took place today in📍San Francisco.#StopRussianAggression pic.twitter.com/enZpYkp0YN— UKR in SanFrancisco (@UKRinSF) February 21, 2022
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has put out the call for another form of aid to the country’s armed forces. As seen in the tweet below, complete with a QR code to sign up, he’s asking people to “join the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces,” which is to say, go over there and help with the fight.
🇺🇦 President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced the formation of a new unit — the International Legion of Territorial Defense of Ukraine. He appealed to foreigners who want to help #Ukraine to #StopRussianAggression 💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/1OmZZGKEjt— UKR in SanFrancisco (@UKRinSF) March 3, 2022
Here in the Bay Area, there are some 13,700 Ukrainian-Americans who were born in Ukraine. And KGO reports that plenty of them are responding to the call.
"The number of those who called us or wrote emails and we have managed to process their request is about 1,400 people," Counsel General of Ukraine in San Francisco Dmytro Kushneruk told KGO.
Not all of them are picking up machine guns and fighting the war; some are doctors and nurses helping with medical efforts. "My profession is to heal the people and to bring life, so that is my major goal and aim," Bay Area medical residency student Yan Semenovskyi told KGO. "Nobody wants to die. Everyone is scared of death. But in this case, I don't know, it's like a moral duty."
Others are delivering supplies, helping with blood drives, building (or rebuilding) bomb shelters, or finding, well, other ways to help.
"My grandma is staying home right now and she made a few Molotov cocktails in her balcony. Before she used to feed the pigeons," Semenovskyi told KGO.
Related: Sean Penn Is In Ukraine Covering the Russian Invasion With VICE [SFist]
Image: @UKRinSF via Twitter