Opinion

Kuzyk: Ukrainian-American and fighting cancer in Mesa

Posted 3/2/22

Ukrainian-Americans are protesting, worrying about family members and resisting Russian propaganda efforts to minimize Ukraine’s history and national identity.

No one knows what horrors to …

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Opinion

Kuzyk: Ukrainian-American and fighting cancer in Mesa

Posted

Ukrainian-Americans are protesting, worrying about family members and resisting Russian propaganda efforts to minimize Ukraine’s history and national identity.

No one knows what horrors to expect next since Russia launched war against their country. The people still have fresh memories of heavy fighting in previous years. Now their freedom and livelihoods are threatened once again.

Thousands of miles away from the fighting in Europe, Ukrainian Americans are facing another front in Russia’s attack on their ancestral home — a psychological one.

Ukrainians around the world are watching closely and are deeply offended by Russia’s efforts to not only deny Ukraine’s statehood but to try to erase Ukrainians’ sense of identity, one that many of them cling to.

I skipped medical appointments on Friday to watch several rallies organized by Ukrainian-Americans here after news of the Russian invasion.

Similar protests have been erupting across the country as Ukrainian- Americans try to pressure the Biden administration to take stronger action. That follows not just the invasion but President Putin announcing that modern Ukraine is fictional and has never existed outside of Russia. Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern with Northwestern University says this strikes a chord with many immigrants.

The U.S., U.K. and the EU have all levied financial punishment on Moscow, but stopped short of removing Russia from the international banking system, SWIFT. Making things worse is my incurable brain cancer. So, I fight on with my disabled Chihuahua, “Champ.” We watch the Ukrainian situation on television together.

No one knows what horrors to expect next since Russia launched war against the country. The people still have fresh memories of heavy fighting in previous years. Now their freedom and livelihoods are threatened once again.

Editor’s note: Ukrainian-American Andrew Kuzyk, 59, is a resident of Mesa.

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