(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Friday, Feb. 24 marks one year since Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine. Southern Colorado community members gathered at a vigil outside the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum.
“This is why today we came support Ukrainian people who died on this war, who now in terrible situation and which I support supported them,” Executive Director of Ukraine Power, Yana Malyk. “And today we ask everyone came to us and together support Ukrainians.”
Malyk came over to America thanks to a sponsor family who are from Colorado Springs.
“When I came to America I found… very nice family, it’s now my second family,” Malyk said.
Marc Luckett shared what it meant to be able to be the sponsor family for Malyk.
“I’ve certainly never thought that I would be this involved in it,” Luckett said. “It’s been seeing and getting to know these Ukrainians and their resolution and determination and strength and bravery is really been life changing for my wife and I.”
Malyk is the executive director of Ukraine Power a nonprofit that works to give support overseas and keep Ukrainians warm.
“We bring generators, heaters and light to people who now move from Lugansk regional and now living in different cities in the Ukraine,” Malyk said.
The organization first began sending support overseas in November and since then continues to send help.
“And the purpose was to help Ukrainians get through the winter,” Luckett said. “And so since we started really just fundraising in December, we’ve sent 48 generators, 170 lamps, cookstoves heaters, Wi-Fi hotspots, power banks.”
Now, Ukraine Power is focusing on working to give heat, light, electricity, and warmth overseas.
“We’ve set up hubs where people can come and recharge their phones, get a hot meal, access the Internet,” Luckett said. “We’ve sent over 40, 50 Wi-Fi hotspots… some of them since the beginning of the war have not been able to communicate with their friends and families and loved ones because the Russians are controlling Internet access.”
You can support Ukraine Power online and help send over the needed equipment.
The vigil began at 5 p.m. and many showed up in colors of blue and yellow or waving the Ukranian flag.
“I’ve certainly never thought that I would be this involved in it that it’s been seeing and getting to know these Ukrainians and their resolution and determination and strength and bravery is really been life-changing for my wife and I,” Luckett said.
Event organizers of the vigil said the purpose of the event was to make sure people know the war is still happening and to not let go of the support.
Senator Bennet released a statement this morning on the one-year anniversary of the start of war.
“The stakes of this war extend far beyond Ukraine. This is a fight to defend democracy against the march of tyranny across the globe. In this fight, America must stand for democracy and with the brave people of Ukraine.”Senator Bennet
In March 2022, Bennet joined the bipartisan Ban Russian Energy Imports Act to stop the importation of Russian oil imports in the United States.