In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an average of about 30 local Ukrainians have been showing up daily to the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Los Angeles to help pack boxes with a variety of emergency aid.

They’ve been packing things like first aid and hospital supplies, along with items that can be used by the military — such as flashlights and binoculars — and other critical items such as baby formula, said Seva Mohylyak, who’s coordinating the effort.

“The basement in the church is packed with stuff ready to go,” said Mohylyak, a Ukrainian immigrant whose father is a surgeon in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

It’s all headed for Ukraine on a flight scheduled to leave LAX on Thursday.

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After President Volodymyr Zelenskyy put out a call for Ukrainian-Americans to come home and fight — complete with a handy QR code to register — around 1,400 Bay Area Ukrainians are trying to do just that.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has put out the call for another form of aid to the country’s armed forces. As seen in the tweet below, complete with a QR code to sign up, he’s asking people to “join the Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces,” which is to say, go over there and help with the fight.

Here in the Bay Area, there are some 13,700 Ukrainian-Americans who were born in Ukraine. And KGO reports that plenty of them are responding to the call.  

“The number of those who called us or wrote emails and we have managed to process their request is about 1,400 people,” Counsel General of Ukraine in San Francisco Dmytro Kushneruk told KGO.

Not all of them are picking up machine guns and fighting the war; some are doctors and nurses helping with medical efforts. “My profession is to heal the people and to bring life, so that is my major goal and aim,” Bay Area medical residency student Yan Semenovskyi told KGO. “Nobody wants to die. Everyone is scared of death. But in this case, I don’t know, it’s like a moral duty.”

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