EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) — There is an urgent call to raise more support for Ukrainians.
Rotary International has raised $75 million in humanitarian aid since the war in Ukraine started, and with winter on the way, supporters say Ukraine will need every bit of that and more to survive.
“The missile attacks took out close to 50% of the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, basically trying to freeze to death 40 million people,” Rotary International CEO John Hewko said.
And he said Putin will do it again.
“When you crossed the Poland border into Ukraine, the air raid sirens go off. So welcome. Welcome to Ukraine,” Hewko said.
Hewko said that’s just the daily reality there. He visited Ukraine, his parent’s home country, a few months ago.
“I walked through the cemetery, and saw the photographs of all of the soldiers, the men and women who had died so far in the war were buried there,” Hewko said.
He said it’s not easy to keep spirits up.
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There, or at home, with hundreds of thousands killed, there’s an urgency for more immediate support.
“The goal of the present war against Ukraine is to turn our land, our people, our lives, our resources — into a weapon, against you. Against the rules-based order,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
Last week, Zelenskyy made clear the war’s impacts to the world in his first in-person speech to the General Assembly since Russia’s full-scale invasion.
“It’s sort of like spending $5 now to save $500 later because Putin has told us that he wants to rebuild the Soviet Union,” Hewko said.
He said in order to win, Ukraine won’t just need humanitarian aid but weapons from Europe and the U.S. Hewko said he’s hoping Congress will stay onboard.
“They can win this war if we give them enough to win, not just enough not to lose,” Hewko said.
Hewko said the best way to support Ukraine is by making a contribution to the foundation or by calling a member of Congress.
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