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 essential. It’s a metropolis he appears like he belongs to.

Volodymyr Omelyan


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Volodymyr Omelyan


Volodymyr Omelyan says he believes that defending the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, is essential. It’s a metropolis he appears 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 going through Russia’s a lot bigger navy.

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

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

Omelyan concurs with that evaluation — however he mentioned Russia’s method would possibly 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 individuals are able to kill Russians. Even civilians which by no means took any type 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 navy nonetheless wants extra weapons and armor, it is having actual successes in opposition to Russia’s vaunted pressure.

“They have been all the time [saying] that it is just like the second military on the 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 have been killed and 1,597 injured.

Omelyan mentioned he believes the Russians’ essential aim 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 couple of profitable conquest of Kyiv.

Final week, Omelyan informed NPR that he joined Ukraine’s navy 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 assist, saying he hopes Ukraine can grow to be a member of the EU. He referred to as for NATO to grow to be extra concerned, citing the Russian navy’s killing of Ukrainian civilians. And he reiterated that Ukraine wants extra tools to assist it battle.

“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) — At this time Gov. Spencer J. Cox kicked off ”Afghan Day on the Hill” by saying 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 reside is a important want for Afghans constructing a brand new life in Utah. Our aim is to have everybody housed by the top of March.”

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

“The Afghans now in Utah had been important allies to the U.S. authorities in Afghanistan and so they carry a bunch of abilities, skills and life expertise to our labor drive,” 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 a beautiful addition in filling a lot wanted vacancies within the state.”

A number of payments working their manner via the legislature will assist help Afghan arrivals together with H.B. 163, which would offer entry to translation so Afghans can get hold of their driver’s license, a software that may impression their choices for employment and basic 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 on account of case dimension fluctuation (the variety of folks arriving in a bunch), folks with connections to Utah selecting to resettle right here and walk-ins who make their approach to Utah on their very own. Gov. Cox urged anybody with housing availability to ship a message to refugeehousing@utah.gov. 

Study extra about wants and alternatives for help at:

Utah Refugee Providers Workplace

Catholic Group Providers of Utah 

Worldwide Rescue Committee

Obtain a duplicate of this press launch right here.

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