NewsCovering Colorado


Local professor with Ukrainian relatives pleads for aid

Eugenia Olesnicky.jpg
Posted at 5:49 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 23:39:23-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — The ongoing war in Ukraine is incredibly stressful for Ukrainian-Americans living in Colorado Springs.

Dr. Eugenia Olesnicky, Ph.D. is a biology professor at UCCS who has relatives living in Russian-held parts of Ukraine. They had been keeping in touch over social media.

"We lost contact with them a few days ago, and the last contact I had with them they had run out of food and water on Friday," she said. "There's no heat, there's no gas, and there's no electricity, and this is the case for all of the people that are in that area."

She said Ukrainians are proud to defend themselves, but she wishes that western powers could do more to provide aid to civilians.

"It's so critical that we get some humanitarian aid there and I really think the only way to do it is through an airdrop of some sort," she said.

She believes creating a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be the fastest way to bring an end to the conflict.

Dr. Olesnicky is organizing a candlelight vigil on campus at UCCS next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at El Pomar Plaza. She hopes the Colorado Springs community can show their support.

The Better Business Bureau created a list of 20 vetted charities that are providing relief efforts for Ukraine. Additionally, NBC's TODAY identified seven verified charities that are specifically helping Ukrainian refugees.

Dr. Olenisky said there are more ways to help beyond giving money.

"Become active, write your Congressman, reach out to people, tell them that you care," she said. "I have been so blessed with all these outpourings of support from friends in the Colorado Springs community."

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