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Support the Ukrainian community

There are several Ukrainian community organizations here in Philadelphia celebrating Ukrainian culture and customs and hosting events and donation drives to support war relief efforts:

Ukrainian American Citizens Association, also known as UACA or the Ukie Club on Franklin. 

The Ukrainian League of Philadelphia has a Facebook page where you can see their upcoming events.

Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center.

You can also donate to the Red Cross in Ukraine or to People in Need, which is providing support to more than 200,000 people on the ground.

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Understand what's happening in Ukraine

Knowing the history of current conflicts is important to understand what is happening now. Here are some resources to learn more:

From the Kyiv Post, an article debunking the 10 most popular misconceptions about Ukraine.

For an in-depth guide to the history of Ukraine, take some time to listen to the PRIALIA Podcast.

The Council on Foreign Relations offers an in-depth explainer on the conflict here.

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Welcome to the enhanced audio edition of Jack Stollsteimer’s story


And go here for more audio articles from CitizenCast

Guest Commentary: Why I Am Proud to Be Ukrainian

The Delaware County DA, a child of a Ukrainian refugee, on being inspired by those “fearlessly carrying the torch of liberty” in his mother’s homeland

Guest Commentary: Why I Am Proud to Be Ukrainian

The Delaware County DA, a child of a Ukrainian refugee, on being inspired by those “fearlessly carrying the torch of liberty” in his mother’s homeland

Growing up, I often felt like an outsider: a son who never knew his mother; a Russian Orthodox Christian who attended Catholic school; a boy whose grandparents seemed to be from another world, speaking a language I couldn’t understand from a far off place nobody ever heard of, called then “The Ukraine,” a constituent part of the Soviet Union, the “Evil Empire” Vladimir Putin has made it his life’s mission to recreate.

I’ve long since come to embrace my family’s history of misery, tragedy and unceasing yearning for freedom and justice, a history shared by most Ukrainian Americans, and why I am so proud today to stand with Ukraine in its latest hour of triumph and tragedy.

RELATED: Looking for ways to help Ukrainians as they fight their Russian invasders? Here are 10+ ideas, including great causes to donate to.

My grandparents, Ilia and Alexandra Solominow, were born in Kharkiv Oblast shortly before World War I. They emigrated to America with my mother and her brother in 1951. Until arriving in the City of Chester, they had known nothing during the first four decades of their lives but war, revolution, famine, forced labor, and death—unspeakable horrors imposed upon them by despots named Lenin, Stalin and Hitler.

Sadly, the best thing that ever happened to my grandparents, besides the births of their children, was being brought to Germany as slave laborers during the Second World War, where they were at last liberated by American GIs.

I once asked my grandmother, the hardest and fiercest woman I ever knew, why they chose to live stateless and in poverty on the streets of Europe for six years after the war, striving to come here. She told me simply that the American soldiers who had liberated their camp were the first men in uniform she ever met who were kind, and she had decided then and there that no matter what the cost, she wanted her children to live in a country that could produce such noble men. Our Greatest Generation indeed.

I think a lot about my fellow Ukrainian Americans these days, as well as our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, bravely showing the world what a free people will do in the face of tyranny.

My mother, Henrietta, was 5 years old when the Nazis invaded her Ukraine, 15 when she arrived in America. Tragically, she had, in the refugee camps, already contracted the illness that would lead to her death in childbirth, but from all accounts she blossomed in America, enjoying immensely the freedoms and liberty we too often take for granted. She excelled in school, was loved by many, and married a tall handsome American serviceman home on leave. We call that the American Dream.

RELATED: Let’s remember our vets right now, too. Here are 12+ ways to give back to those who fought to keep you free—from volunteering to donating to sending care packages

Although I never met my mother I think of her constantly and she is the inspiration for my life’s work of public service in pursuit of the ideals of justice I know she treasured so highly. I also think a lot about my fellow Ukrainian Americans these days, as well as our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, bravely showing the world what a free people will do in the face of tyranny.

Vladimir Putin is a fool to think he can break the spirit of this great people who have suffered so much misery and tragedy over the centuries, often under the lash of their Russian cousin. That’s why I’m proud to be Ukrainian, a people fearlessly carrying the torch of liberty, for all of us, in an increasingly dark world.


Jack Stollsteimer is the district attorney of Delaware County.

The Citizen welcomes guest commentary from community members who stipulate to the best of their ability that it is fact-based and non-defamatory.

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