NewsSarasota, Manatee County


North Port Ukrainian Community responds to Russian attacks

Local ukranians
Posted at 8:52 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 07:13:12-05

NORTH PORT, Fla. — At 3 A.M. on Thursday, Luba, who is from Ukraine, went to her church and started cooking because she didn’t know what else to do.

"I have two sons over there. They’re reserve officers. Today at 3 o’clock in the morning I spoke with them and they were called to the army to protect our county," said Luba.

She’s a member at the Most Holy Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church in North Port, a community that has a large Ukrainian population.

"I could just cry a bucket of tears," said Ivanka Olesnycky, also a parishioner of the church.

Olesnycky’s parents were refugees from Ukraine who fled to America after Russians killed her grandparents during WWII.

"I’m praying and hoping that perhaps in all of this horror maybe something will change," said Olesnycky.

On Thursday, parishioners came together, praying for change, supporting each other, and making Ukrainian food to help their community.

"We love our country, we stick together," said Luba.

One of the leaders of that community is Ihor Hron, a Ukrainian-American and war veteran.

"The community reaction would be one of bewilderment, disappointment, fear, for families that are in Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation as a whole," said Hron.

"God help us in some way," said Luba. "I don’t want to be lost. I don’t want to lose our country. We love our country."