Ukrainian man who enlisted after Russia’s invasion gives an update, a week later : NPR


Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is necessary. It’s a metropolis he seems like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan


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Volodymyr Omelyan


Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is necessary. It’s a metropolis he seems like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan

Volodymyr Omelyan is among the many hundreds of Ukrainians who rushed to enlist after Russia invaded Ukraine final week. Talking to NPR by cellphone Wednesday, he mentioned he is assured Ukraine will prevail, regardless of dealing with Russia’s a lot bigger army.

“We’re 100% positive that we’ll win,” he mentioned in an interview on Morning Version. “Little doubt about that. Undoubtedly.”

Ukrainian army officers say their forces have managed to safe a number of notable victories in opposition to Russia’s army, however they warn that the Russians appear to be adjusting their technique. Russia is counting on “the felony ways of long-range shelling of peaceable cities,” Ukraine’s protection minister, Oleksii Reznikov, mentioned in an replace on the struggle.

Omelyan concurs with that evaluation however he mentioned Russia’s strategy may backfire, saying it is upsetting not solely terror amongst residents, however anger.

“They’re attempting to unfold panic among the many civilians, bombing them, however they get completely different response to such actions,” he mentioned. “Persons are getting livid and persons are able to kill Russians. Even civilians which by no means took any sort of gun of their arms.”

Omelyan was as soon as Ukraine’s infrastructure minister, however he is now positioned in Kyiv with Ukraine’s territorial protection forces. He mentioned that whereas Ukraine’s army nonetheless wants extra weapons and armor, it is having actual successes in opposition to Russia’s vaunted power.

“They had been all the time [saying] that it is just like the second military on this planet, but it surely seems to be very weak, and we crushed lots of their brigades,” he mentioned.

On Wednesday, the Russian Protection Ministry made its first announcement of considerable casualties in Ukraine, saying 498 personnel had been killed and 1,597 injured.

Omelyan mentioned he believes the Russians’ major objective is to not occupy everything of Ukraine, however to get management of the capital so Moscow can set up a puppet authorities and manufacture information tales a few profitable conquest of Kyiv.

Final week, Omelyan advised NPR that he joined Ukraine’s army to guard his household. He additionally mentioned he was sure his nation will win. Every week later, that hasn’t modified.

“We’ll by no means give up,” he mentioned.

He thanked the U.S. and its European allies for his or her help, saying he hopes Ukraine can change into a member of the EU. He referred to as for NATO to change into extra concerned, citing the Russian army’s killing of Ukrainian civilians. And he reiterated that Ukraine wants extra tools to assist it struggle.

“We want [an] pressing provide of anti-missile and anti-military plane programs to clear the skies from invasion,” he mentioned. “And we’ll deal with the land occupation simply.”

Gov. Cox provides an update on Afghan arrivals to kick off ‘Afghan Day on the Hill’


SALT LAKE CITY (Feb. 23, 2022) — Right this moment Gov. Spencer J. Cox kicked off ”Afghan Day on the Hill” by asserting that just about the entire 900 Afghans assigned to Utah for resettlement have arrived. He known as on Utahns to assist safe long-term housing for the ultimate 220 people which might require 50 models.

“We acknowledge the housing challenges being felt all through the state,” mentioned Gov. Cox. “We additionally know that having a protected and safe place to stay is a important want for Afghans constructing a brand new life in Utah. Our purpose is to have everybody housed by the tip of March.”

With the preliminary section of resettlement full, efforts will shift in direction of section two, which incorporates schooling, coaching and employment. Utah’s resettlement companies and the state’s Refugee Companies Workplace are collaborating to make sure households have what they want for kids to achieve success, together with homework assist and mentors. A number of the $1 million raised by means of the Utah Afghan Group Fund has already helped buy laptops and cellphones for brand new households. 

“The Afghans now in Utah have been important allies to the U.S. authorities in Afghanistan they usually convey a bunch of skills, skills and life expertise to our labor pressure,” mentioned Gov. Cox. “They arrived in Utah with permission to work and we’re serving to them safe good jobs. They are going to be an exquisite addition in filling a lot wanted vacancies within the state.”

A number of payments working their approach by means of the legislature will assist assist Afghan arrivals together with H.B. 163, which would supply entry to translation so Afghans can acquire their driver’s license, a software that may affect their choices for employment and common transportation. Gov. Cox counseled legislators for his or her willingness to tackle points impacting not solely Afghan arrivals but in addition refugees coming to the state.

Preliminary estimates for Afghan arrivals elevated to only over 900 as a consequence of case measurement fluctuation (the variety of individuals arriving in a bunch), individuals with connections to Utah selecting to resettle right here and walk-ins who make their strategy to Utah on their very own. Gov. Cox urged anybody with housing availability to ship a message to refugeehousing@utah.gov. 

Be taught extra about wants and alternatives for assist at:

Utah Refugee Companies Workplace

Catholic Group Companies of Utah 

Worldwide Rescue Committee

Obtain a duplicate of this press launch right here.

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