“I talk to my family there, most of them are from Kyiv. Most of them are physicians,” said Dr. Taras Mahlay with the Cleveland Maidan Association, a nonprofit that collects and sends medical supplies to Ukraine.
Mahlay said it’s important to remember the war isn’t over and Ukrainians still need support.
“The casualties that are going on right now — I think they are probably worse than at the beginning of the war,” said Mahlay.
Those lives will be honored in a vigil of remembrance at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral on Saturday night.
The Maidan Association and several other organizations are hosting it.
“I think sometimes we need to pray. We are going to be praying for the lost souls and the Ukrainians who are fighting for their freedom,” said Mahlay.
According to Global Cleveland, Northeast Ohio is now in the top 10 places in the United States where Ukrainian refugees have sought shelter and a place away from Ukraine and the war.
However, Joe Cimperman, president of Global Cleveland, said many refugees have temporary visas that will expire later this year.
“There will have to be some decisions made in Washington. We are coming up on these deadlines, as well, for the people who helped our troops in Afghanistan,” said Cimperman.
Cimperman said around 5,000 Ukrainians now call Northeast Ohio home and more are expected in the future.
“We are going to be working with other organizations to figure out how we allow people to stay here legally because they have no other option,” said Cimperman.
For more information on the cathedral’s Saturday ceremony, “One Year of War,” visit its Facebook page.