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Bay Area Ukrainians Urge Americans to Continue Offering Support for Ukraine

Wednesday, Russian officials announced they are ordering the withdrawal of troops from the Ukrainian city of Kherson. This city has been occupied by Russia for months.

This comes after weeks of Ukrainian forces advancing towards the city and efforts by Russia to relocate residents of Kherson.

“We’re not in a hurry to celebrate yet, it’s still uncertain,” said 26-year old Daria, who is from Kherson and now lives in Redwood Shores.

“The situation inside of Kherson is still tense,”  she said.

Daria asked to only be identified by her last name out of concern for her family’s safety.

Her mom and siblings were able to flee Kherson to the city of Odesa months ago. But Daria’s father remains in Kherson.

Daria said that outside information and internet access have been difficult to come by in Kherson during the Russian occupation. She said her father is only able to access electricity through a portable generator.

“My dad is doing his best to survive, especially this coming winter,”  Daria said, explaining that her dad is looking into getting a wood-burning stove to help manage through the cold.

Daria said that she and her family are skeptical of the Russian government’s plans to withdraw from Kherson.

“Our guess is that its not over, that the Russian government wants everyone to believe they withdrew their forces while they are still thinking of taking over something else,” she said.

Bay Area-based nonprofit Nova Ukraine is preparing to help evacuate people from Kherson.

Igor Markov, who is from Kyiv and is a director for Nova Ukraine, explained that many people were expecting the Russian withdrawal from Kherson to happen soon as Russian troops struggled to stay supplied.

Markov noted, “it’s still difficult to liberate this area because, everything is booby trapped, it is [covered with] mines, the bridges are destroyed.”

He added that the infrastructure destroyed in Russian attacks makes it even more challenging to get aid into Kherson.

As Nova Ukraine coordinates rides and deliveries of medical equipment half a world away, Markov emphasizes there are many ways Americans can help out.

“It’s easy to dismiss these events in Ukraine as something local, [but they’re] not at all, they are very global,” Markov said.

As the ninth month of the Russian invasion of Ukraine approaches, Daria said she doesn’t want her neighbors in the U.S. to forget about what is at stake.

Earlier this year, Daria designed a shirt with the image of Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s face in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. She sold these shirts and says she donated the proceeds to Nova Ukraine.

Daria is hopeful others will find their own ways to keep discussing and thinking about the conflict still unfolding in Ukraine.

“In the very beginning, it was in very single news [outlet] and now I feel like life is going on,” she said.

“I want people to talk about it because it’s still there, it’s still happening, the Ukrainian people still need help,” Daria continued.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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