DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — People in the Miami Valley are showing their support for Ukraine one year after Russia invaded.
Anastasia Nagle was born and raised in Ukraine. She moved to the Dayton area in 2006. Her parents were able to make it to the U.S. after the war started, but she still has family and loved ones in the middle of the fighting.
“It’s hard. My cousin spent a long time on the battlefield and he’s had multiple concussions and had to have surgeries and wounds. But he’s alive. A lot of my friends are traumatized and scarred, but they’re alive and very brave,” Nagle said.
Nagle is on the board of the Ukrainian Society of Greater Dayton. She spent the last year raising money and collecting items for the thousands of people impacted by the war. She said the support from the Miami Valley helped her stay strong.
“It’s important for us to come together as a community because it’s easier to get through this day together, and it’s even more important to feel support from our American neighbors as well, because it reminds us that we are not alone. It gives us hope,” Nagle said.
Vladyslav Faraponov is also from Ukraine. He spent a year at Wright State University studying international politics. He is now living and working in Ukraine, but this last year was difficult.
“I can definitely say that this year has been probably one of the most challenging in my life. I would say even for my family of all generations,” Faraponov explained.
Faraponov said he is safe, but he worries about his grandmother who did not leave their hometown.
“For me, definitely the most challenging part was that due to the amount of work and also due to the threat of Russian missiles, I couldn’t go to my hometown to see my only grandma and she still remains there,” Faraponov said.
Faraponov is helping to keep people informed and stop the spread of misinformation. He said Ukrainians are still holding on to hope and resiliency.
“I can assure you that the feeling of our need for victory, the need to win this battle is basically much higher than the feeling of the devastation, and of course all the sad feelings that are related to war,” Faraponov said.
As the war continues into its second year, Nagle knows the community is making a difference for the people in Ukraine and for the refugees who now call the Miami Valley home.
“I think the evil of this magnitude can only be defeated together. And that’s how we’re going to do it,” Nagle said.
To learn more about how you can support relief efforts for Ukrainians or help refugees in the Miami Valley, visit the Ukrainian Society of Greater Dayton.