SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Ukrainians who now live in KELOLAND are reflecting upon the anniversary of the Russian invasion of their native country.
That includes a Sioux Falls couple who are confident that Ukraine will prevail in the war, with the help of the U.S. and the rest of the world.
Viktor Voznyuk doesn’t mind shoveling a foot of snow at his Sioux Falls home. He says it reminds him of winters growing up in Ukraine.
“Whiteness means hope because winter means spring is coming, you know,” Voznyuk said.
Voznyuk’s optimism stretches far beyond his driveway, all the way to the front lines in Ukraine, which has been at war with Russia for a year and counting.
“Victory. Justice. That is what is on my mind first,” Voznyuk said.
Voznyuk say Ukraine’s battle-hardened spirit was forged long before its current war with Russia.
“If you can imagine, up to 80-percent of all NCO’s (non-commissioned officers) in the Soviet Army were Ukrainians. So, they know how to fight,” Voznyuk said.
Voznyuk’s wife Nadia has family living in the Russian occupied region of Kherson. That makes for very shaky, and dangerous, lines of communication.
“And it’s even harder for me to contact my brothers under occupation, because the Russians check phones, if it’s an American phone number, they can do too much bad stuff, they can take hostages,” Nadia Voznyuk said.
The Voznyuks say Ukraine’s fight for freedom is being strengthened by military help from key allies, like the United States. And as the war against Russia enters its second year, they’re confident that victory is within reach because they say Ukrainians will never surrender.
“They keep killing us. We keep fighting,” Viktor Voznyuk said.
The Voznyuks moved to the United States in 1999. The family gained a large following of Christian music fans when they performed at concert venues and churches as the Light Spring Singers.