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Local Ukrainians, Russians, politicians share feelings, fear amidst invasion

About one hundred people gathered and chanted in front of the State House for a rally to support Ukraine. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
About one hundred people gathered and chanted in front of the State House for a rally to support Ukraine. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
This article is more than 1 year old.
  • Today, we take the whole hour to focus on the unfolding Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is a global conflict, and the bombings and violence are half a world away. But this hits us all, and we connect this hour with local community members with families in Ukraine, in Russia, with a Democratic Massachusetts Congressman and a Republican State Representative. We talk relief efforts already underway, and take listener calls. Congressman Jake Auchincloss, who represents Massachusetts' fourth congressional district, which ranges from Newton to Somerset, joins us. Plus, joining us as a special guest for the hour is former Massachusetts Congressman and friend of Radio Boston, Michael Capuano.
  • We also turn to Olga Lisovska, a Ukrainian singer who lives in Newton, Massachusetts. Olga's family lives inKyiv, including her mother who is a permanent resident of the U.S. Over the past weeks, we've been in touch with Olga as she's updated us about her family's situation and how the local Ukrainian community is responding to the intensifying conflict.
  • Last night, Republican State Representative Leonard Mirra tweeted, "My thought and prayers are with the people of Ukraine tonight. May we be united in our opposition to this unprovoked and unjustified invasion." We took note of the Tweet because there are reported tensions within the Republican Party regarding whether to stand with the official U.S. position on this invasion, or to follow the lead of former President Donald Trump, who has praised Vladimir Putin in the last few days. In order to understand where Republicans in the commonwealth fall on the U.S.'s moves today, we checked in with Rep. Mirra, who represents the Second Essex District, including Haverhill, Boxford, and Georgetown.
  • We have Slava Olenick, a Ukrainian American living in Framingham, join to share the conversations he is having with his own kids about the situation, what he's hearing from family back in Ukraine, and his own feelings on the conflict.
  • We also turn to our Russian neighbors here in Greater Boston. Mikhail Pipko lives in Newton, and has family in St. Petersburg, Russia. He's lived in the US since 1993, but served in the Soviet military in the 1980s. We check in with him about how he and his family are doing.
  • We end today with how to help with an organization that is providing aid and support to Ukraine. Juan Gilces Coronel, Manager of Israel and Global Jewry at Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston (CJP), joins us to share how exactly Bostonians can lend their support in this turbulent time.

This program aired on February 24, 2022.


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