Run for Ukraine

Run for Ukraine

Run for Ukraine

Aubree Ward and Natalie Bullock

Tania Luchak is a sophomore at Lakewood, and is also a Ukrainian exchange student. Due to the recent conflict between her country and Russia, she has started a Save Ukraine Club that meets in room A213 at 8:00 am on Thursdays. She is taking action and spreading awareness about this growing conflict. 

When asked if there was anything that the Lakewood community could do to help Ukraine and its people, Tania responded “Donate, raise awareness, and take action! Two of your Starbucks drinks are already 150 UAH (Ukrainian hryvnyas) which can be a full meal for refugees.” She also mentions a nonprofit organization called “Razom for Ukraine'' that provides help for the citizens in Ukraine. 

Her other projects include organizing a charity run in the Denver area, in which the money profited will go to the nonprofits supporting Ukraine. The race will take place at Sloan’s Lake Park on April third at eight o’clock in the morning. Tickets are $35 for adults and $20 for children. All proceeds will support Ukraine and the Ukraine club at Lakewood. Donations are welcomed. 

While Tania continues to live in the United States, she states that she “has mixed feelings about staying here while people in her country are being killed mercilessly” and “sometimes I feel blame that I can have fun, laugh and hang out with people while my closest Ukrainian people experience constant fear and anxiety.” 

Tania thankfully says that her family and friends are in one of the safest cities in Ukraine, yet still have to attend bomb shelters several hours every day in order to stay safe. She states that her family is currently debating on fleeing the country for better safety. While they are in one of the safest  cities, the emergency sirens blare  in the middle of the night and disturb  the citizens. Tania states that her country is “a great example of a [collective effort] to save independence” and has full faith in the citizens within Ukraine and its society.

The conflict officially began on the 24February 2022 when Russia invaded Ukraine. Though it made headlines all around the globe, the conflict had been going on for eight years prior to the vast news coverage that came flooding in last month. Russia wants to take Ukraine back, hoping to expand its borders out to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova. Their capture of this land would allow the Russians to be closer to Crimea, which they annexed from Ukraine in 2014. 

More than two million refugees have fled the Ukraine since February 24. It is estimated that from 2014 to present day, there have been more that 50,000 casualties in this ongoing conflict. As of March 14, Russia and Ukraine have entered into their fourth round of peace talks even as Russia expands their range of air strikes over the country, attacking both citizens and soldiers. 

At the end of the interview, Tania states, “My family does not lose hope because Ukraine will always stay strong and independent no matter who will invade us.” 

Link to the Run for Ukraine event at Sloan’s Lake Park
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