By Mark Povzner
Residents on Long Island are doing their part to support Ukraine through voluntarily established humanitarian organizations and the Basilian Order of Saint Josaphat.
This Greek Catholic monastic order works actively among Ukrainian Catholics and other Greek-Catholic churches in central and eastern Europe.
More than 200 American-born Ukrainians residing in Long Island attended St. Josaphat’s Monastery in Glen Cove on Tuesday.
Dan Alter, a candidate for Nassau County Legislator gave an opening speech in support of Ukraine.
“This was very meaningful and impactful event and a vigil of the community, leaders, elected officials and clergy from the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County. The event showed that we stand united with Ukraine and its people,” Alter said.
He emphasized the importance of community’s mission to assist aid to Ukraine in any possible way.
“This is the least we can do as free and sovereign nation,” he said.
The Basilian Order of St. Josaphat’s joined by Metropolitan Archeparchy of Philadelphia is working with United Ukrainian American Relief Committee Inc. , which was established in 1944 to assist Ukrainians in refugee camps after WWII. The organization is working closely with UCCA, UWC, US Aid, and the Ukrainian Embassy in the coordination of aid.
”What we do here is we direct where to find the help,” Dcn. Andrew, a pastor at St. Josaphat’s Monastery, said Tuesday after the candlelight vigil.
”We are monastery, and we are deeply concerned for Ukraine as well as the whole world. So we’ve been praying and communicating with different organizations and people in support of Ukraine,” Andrew said.
St. Josaphat’s Monastery stands for the cessation of Putin’s aggression. Andrew believes that the Ukrainian community on Long Island has solidarity with the Russian people, who do not support Putin’s war.
“This is the oppression of the Russian government but not its people. Over the last few years, Russia has been repeatedly noted for its censored media and pro-Kremlin propaganda. But, unfortunately, the Russians who have no access to real and true factual information are being fed political lies,” said Andrew.
“The problem today is the Russian government, particularly Putin’s administration. They believe Ukraine has always been a part of Russia and that Russia should either own or control Ukraine as a sphere of its influence, politically speaking. With all due respect to its size and resources, Russia envies Ukraine’s fertile lands,” said the pastor.
As Russian forces advance via Ukraine’s southern ports poised to cut away Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea, Russia’s escalates the invasion targeting Ukraine’s key strategic cities. The number of refugees fleeing Ukraine has reached 2 million, the head of the UN refugee agency Fillippo Grandi said on Tuesday.
Russian military have repeatedly used shelling, missiles and airstrikes in densely populated residential areas forcing Ukrainian residents to abandon their homes. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unfolded one of the worst humanitarian crises since the end of World War II.