inside sources print logo
Get up to date Delaware Valley news in your inbox

DelVal Ukrainian-Americans Hopeful Aid Will Flow to Beleaguered Homeland

A 70-29 majority in the U.S. Senate passed a $95 billion defense spending bill Tuesday that includes aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Nearly half the GOP caucus — 22 members — voted with nearly every Democrat. Vermont socialist Bernie Sanders opposed the bill, as did Democrats Jeff Merkley (Ore.) and Peter Welch (Vt.).

Both Pennsylvania Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman voted yes.

“This bipartisan bill sends a clear message to Ukrainians and our partners and our allies around the world: America can be trusted, America can be relied upon, and America stands up for freedom,” Casey said.

The bill now heads to the House, where it faces long odds and strong GOP opposition. But Ukrainian-Americans living in the Delaware Valley tell DVJournal they are hopeful the aid will reach their war-torn homeland.

“Providing Ukraine with the requisite military, economic, and humanitarian aid essential to defeating Moscow is in America’s best interest for several reasons,” said Eugene Luciw of Towamencin. The son of Ukrainian immigrants, he’s president of the Philadelphia branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America.

“First, it is morally correct for us to rescue the innocent people of Ukraine from the genocidal death and destruction that Putin is committing in their country that so desperately fights for its freedom, democracy, and territorial integrity.

“Second, Ukraine is not only defending its own country, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. It is also defending the Euro-Atlantic security dynamic and the people of the West.

“Aid to Ukraine will achieve a decisive victory for her. This, in turn, will produce a peace dividend. America will not have to send its young people to defend the West from an attack on our European allies that is sure to come if Russia defeats Ukraine. Nor will we need to expend any additional financial resources. By the same token, a restored Ukraine promises to be an economic powerhouse that will be a tremendous economic and military partner to the United States.”

Natalie A. Firko, president of the Ukrainian Educational & Cultural Center in Abington, said the U.S. has led the world since World War II ended.

“Unfortunately, this peace and prosperity was shattered when Russia, led by its terrorist leader Vladimir Putin, initiated a massive and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022,” she said. “Since then, Russia has continued its relentless destruction of Ukraine and genocidal murder of innocent civilians and children in the hopes of wiping Ukraine off the map and subjugating this democratic and sovereign nation again,” Firko said.

“However, with the strong leadership and support of the United States, the people of Ukraine have fought bravely against all odds to prevent Russia from succeeding. This strong support from the United States sent a powerful message to all ruthless dictators, like Putin, that unprovoked aggression of a sovereign country will not be allowed and will not succeed.

“Stopping support for Ukraine now will only embolden this ruthless terrorist to continue not only in his quest to take over and destroy Ukraine but also set his sights on invading and subjugating other neighboring countries as well. When that happens, history will repeat itself, just like in 1939, when another ruthless dictator invaded a sovereign country, and then another, and then another until a world war was needed to stop him in his ruthless quest,” Firko said.

“The United States needs to show leadership, now more than ever,” Firko added. “The world is watching to see what we do. Let us not repeat history.”

Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks) signed a letter with other so-called “national security” Democrats, urging House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to quickly bring the Senate bill to a floor for a vote.

“This legislation is long overdue, and we applaud the Senate for its demonstration of unified American leadership to secure global and national security and peace,” they wrote.

“Our impact on the future of democracy has never been more clear. Ukraine now enters its third year of war with Russia with a depleted stockpile of weapons and necessary supplies, the threat of Hamas still looms large in Israel and Gaza, and China’s intentions within the Indo-Pacific region are of deep concern. The stakes of failing to enact this legislation now cannot be overstated. Therefore, we implore you to take up this legislation immediately.”

Please follow DVJournal on social media: Twitter@DVJournal or