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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — As Russian troops continue to attack Ukraine, people around the world are coming together to offer support, including a doctor right here in New Orleans at LSU Health.

“In New Orleans, we know the hurricane is coming, everybody is getting all their stuff together, I mean, that’s kind of how it feels in Kyiv right now, except ten times worse,” said Dr. Lilia Stefaniwsky, a GI fellow at LSU Health New Orleans.

For Dr. Stefaniwsky, the attack against Ukraine is personal. She’s a first-generation Ukrainian American.
Her mother was born in Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital currently in jeopardy of being overthrown by Russia.

“Ukraine and Kyiv, in particular, is a beautiful, old European city,” said Dr. Stefaniwsky

Right now, thousands are trying to flee and find safety as Russia closes in.

“We lost thousands of people, about a hundred of children and thousands of adults. People don’t have food, they don’t have electricity, they don’t have water,” said Kolya Turyk, a Ukrainian who is affiliated with the deputy consul of Ukraine.

Turyk is a long-time friend of Dr. Stefaniwsky who currently lives in Ukraine. For the last several weeks, he’s witnessed the horrific violence. Now he’s taking action.

“We are seeking funds to buy a bus or a van, where I can be a driver,” said Turyk.

A driver who will pick up supplies and Ukrainians in the hot spots of the war zone, willing to risk his life to save others, and he’s asked his friend Dr. Stefaniwsky to get the word out.

“That character of Ukrainians will never leave them, I mean, that is the soul of Ukraine, is their people, and their character and that can never be taken away from them,” said Dr. Stefaniwsky.