SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Friday marks one year since the war in Ukraine began.
One year later, many people here locally with ties to Ukraine are taking time to reflect.
“I came to U.S. about 22 years ago,” said Ruslan Slobodyanik, who now lives in Springfield. “I grew up in Ukraine.”
He keeps up with his extended family and friends that are still in Ukraine.
Slobodyanik said Friday is extremely symbolic.
“One year is a big thing, a big deal,” he said. “There are still fears in the minds of many that this will drag on for years.”
Organizations here in the Ozarks continue to provide aid to those impacted by the war.
Convoy of Hope started helping Ukrainians the week the war started.
“We began working over there with our partners to deliver food and hygiene kits and baby supplies,” said Ethan Forhetz with Convoy.
A year later, that effort hasn’t slowed down.
“It’s a war-torn area, buildings down all over the place,” said Forhetz. “It’s difficult for people to go to work if they still have jobs. There are millions of people who have been displaced.”
Forhetz said the hope is that people remember what’s still taking place.”We care, but it’s not in the news as often as it was,” said Forhetz. “I think this anniversary is bringing it back now and reminding people that it’s still going on.”