In the midst of all the governmental transition hullabaloo, I implore each of you to take the time to contact your state representatives in order to address these key issues that are loud and clearly in need of support from our many voices. As a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer, I am able to shed some specific light on foreign policy as I have been living in Ukraine for sixteen months now.
As some of you know, the fighting in Ukraine has intensified with Russian forces leading violent attacks against the currently held line in the East since Sunday. As of now, eight Ukrainian soldiers have died, twenty-six are wounded, an unknown number of civilians have died and over 17,000 peaceful civilians (2,500 of which are children) are pinned down without access to water, electricity or heating in the government-held town of Avdiyivka. The temperatures are dipping as low as -4F at night and the highs are barely making it out of the teens. People are starving and standing in line for hours in order to purchase a single loaf of bread. Authorities in Donbass (Donetsk) have declared a state of emergency.
There is an evacuation plan in place for those who want to leave the towns that will be affected by this further disregard of the Minsk Agreement (ceasefire agreement, 2014). At this point it looks like the officials in Avdiyivka are attempting to organize an evacuation since the main gas line has been broken and the inhabitants have no access to resources but they say it is a last resort. This is also one of many towns being affected, others are acting similarly in declaring states of emergency.
Please, please lend your voice to these causes and keep the fight alive. This blatant disregard of policy cannot withstand and I am astounded and saddened by the turn of events both at home in America and my second home here. Peace Corps WILL evacuate us if the fighting worsens and threatens volunteer safety, but my Ukrainian family, colleagues, friends and students do not have said option.
Thank you to all of my friends and family for your support, will keep everyone updated on what happens here. #ukraine #peacecorps #pleasestopthiswar #endthiswar #prayersupforukraine