Ukrainian-Americans in Greater Cleveland show support for Ukraine as Russia intensifies its attacks

Rally in downtown Cleveland in support of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February 2022. [Jeff Reidel]
Rally in downtown Cleveland in support of Ukraine following Russia’s invasion in February 2022. [Jeff Reidel]
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The United States is banning imports of oil, natural gas, and oil from Russia.  President Joe Biden announced the ban yesterday.  It is a move that will inflict damage on Russia’s economy, which relies heavily on the oil and gas sector.  Biden said the American people have made it clear they have no interest in subsidizing Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two weeks ago and has increased its attacks on cities throughout the country.  Neighborhoods and civilians have been under bombardment and Ukraine has accused Russia of targeting evacuation routes. More than two-million Ukrainians are estimated to have fled to neighboring countries.  Half of those refugees are children according to the United Nations Children’s Fund or UNICEF.

A son of Northeast Ohio recently joined the exodus. Theodore Kuchar is New York-born but, he grew-up in Cleveland’s Ukrainian community. He started on his path to an orchestra career at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Kuchar graduated there in 1982. This week, he spoke with Ideastream Public Media’s David C. Barnett from Helsinki, Finland, about the harrowing path he took out of a country under siege.


Northeast Ohio is home to one of the largest Ukrainian-American populations in the United States.  Since the invasion and even well before it, Ukrainian-Americans have been rallying for peace and for the West to increase its pressure to stop Putin.

Stephen Mylett was sworn in last August as chief of the Akron Police Department.  He was most recently chief of the Bellevue Police Department in Bellevue, Washington, a tiny Seattle suburb just slightly smaller than Akron.

Bellevue is also the home of Amazon, and becoming an increasingly expensive place to live. So Mylett's decision to leave Washington state for Akron was partically economic, but it was also in part because he wanted a new challenge.

The city is facing new waves of violent crime, and like many other police departments - they're wrestling with how to improve community police relations.

WKSU's Jeff St. Clair recently sat down with Chief Mylett for an extensive conversation on why he finds himself in Akron Ohio.

The Major League Baseball season—for many sign of spring—will not begin at the end of this month as scheduled.  Last week the league’s commissioner canceled the first two series of games for each team.  The games were cancelled after negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement failed to produce a new deal.

Among the series cancelled, the home opener for Cleveland which would have marked the debut of the Guardians nickname for the club.

For More Information:

Cleveland Maidan Association

Catholic Relief Services Ukraine Fund


Andrew Fedynsky, Director, Ukrainian Museum-Archives  
Ted Kuchar, Conductor, Escaped to Finland
David C. Barnett, Arts Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
Joe Scalzo, Reporter, Sports Business, Crain's Cleveland Business  
Joe Posnanski, Sports Journalist, Author, The Baseball 100  

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