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Local Reaction on Russia Ukraine War

This week marks the 1 year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine marking the beginning of a deadly war.

Nicole Fuschino tells us how the last 365 days have affected our area’s Ukrainian community Nicole?

Today I met Father Andriy Kelt who is the Pastor of two Ukrainian Catholic Churches in our area.

His biggest message to those listening is that the war isn’t over yet and Ukrainians still need support.

“Evil thrives on division. It thrives on hatred, and you see that on display.”

This is what Father Andriy Kelt told us last year at this time on the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

Fast forward to the one year anniversary of the war’s beginning he’s spreading the same message.

“We always have to continue to pray for the Ukrainians to persevere and win this war.”

Father Andriy Kelt is the Pastor of two Ukrainian Parishes in Cambria County

St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Northern Cambria which has raised $12,818 for relief efforts

Along with the Protection of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church in Revloc raising $5,483.

“We sold some perogies, we sold t-shirts, we had all kinds of fundraisers.”

Father Kelt’s generosity doesn’t just come from his faith but also his heritage.

“I was born in Ukraine. I grew up there. I lived there for 18 years.”

Father Kelt says the war has quote awoken his original national identity but has also caused worry.

His family lives in a village about 20 miles away from the city of Lviv with his cousin fighting on the front lines.

“He was actually injured a couple days ago, like not even a week ago.”

While his parents travel back and forth between Ukraine and the U.S. Many loved ones live there permanently.

“My brother and his wife and two kids are still back home. They won’t be able to come here.”

Father Kelt says this should be a reminder to Americans to be grateful for our freedom

“My mom and my dad…sorry”

And that he’s grateful to everyone who has supported his Ukrainian family halfway across the world.

“everyone from my family wants to express sincere gratitude”

The biggest takeaway from our conversation Today is that freedom is fragile and we should appreciate ours.


For more information on St Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Northern Cambria, click here.

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