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EVANSTON, Ill. (WLS) — In their artistic Evanston flat, Ruslana Litinskaia and Leon Litinsky, Kyiv natives and American citizens for 30 years, settled in for their part of the war effort.

They have been checking in with family and friends dealing with a situation they said they would be laughing at if it weren’t so deadly.

They talked to their best friends, Larissa and Vitalli Ulitskyi, a psychiatrist and businessman in Kyiv who refused to leave.

“They are only afraid that a direct hit will destroy them, but a good part about it, they’ll be gone,” Litinskaia said.

Larisa and Vitalli said they will head to their basement when they hear bombing, but 12 days in, the sound has to be really loud to move. It’s a sardonic take on what has been going on around them. They consider their strength part of the collective will of the Ukrainian people to resist.

“And there is lost children mothers and parents fathers and children are separated and they are asking for humanitarian help,” said Ruslana.”They have decided to stay because it is their home it is their city their country and they believe that they will win this is their motherland.”

Leon’s father sketched a picture when his grandparents were murdered in 1941 at Barba Yar, right near where all of these people are from.

SEE ALSO | Russian attack severely damages maternity hospital in Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Zelenskyy says

“People who they knew start to die, so it’s getting closer to home,” Leon said.

Ruslana and Leon’s family members have been fighting the Russian invasion from all over Ukraine.

“It is very important for us to feel your support your touch and feel your closeness connection,” said Vitalli.

They wanted people into the United States to know that the war not movie and that their friends and family are fighting for freedom and democracy 5,000 miles away to save values that are, at their heart, American too.

Meanwhile, a flurry of focused physicians and nurses in Naperville gathered to travel the globe with life-saving medical supplies.

“Chest tubes, ventilators, central lines, even gas masks just inside,” said Dr. Zaher Sahloul, a critical care specialist and president of MedGlobal. “The Russians have used chemical weapons.”

President of the Chicago-based humanitarian non-governmental organization, Sahloul organized the effort to bring Chicagoland help to the Polish-Ukrainian border. He has been working closely with his colleagues in Ukraine.

“They were sending us these lists of necessary medical equipment and surgery equipment and we collected all of that and we’re taking all of that with us today and taking it from here to Warsaw and from Warsaw to Ukraine,” said Sahloul.

Sahloul said he and his team have been working to save lives in service of our common bond of humanity.

RELATED | Ikea, Apple, McDonald’s among companies cutting ties with Russia over Ukraine invasion: LIST

“Each one piece of luggage and instrument will save lives and this is our main goal,” said Sahloul. “But also our other goal is to let the Ukrainians know we are standing in solidarity with them.”

More than 80 luggage bags were filled to the brim with life-saving first aid equipment.

“The whole European community in Chicago is helping. It’s not just Ukrainians. It’s not just Polish people. It’s all of Europe helping each other. We stand as one now,” said Jessica Szostak, a nurse and MedGlobal volunteer.

Organizers said this effort started as just one or two people who were planning to go to Ukraine to help, but in five days, a miracle happened. It has ballooned to nine doctors and nurses and $500,000 worth of medical supplies all headed to the Ukrainian border with Poland Wednesday night.

“We just want to provide them all the medical help that they can because it’s our duty to reach out and it’s our duty to help being in the medical community,” said Tonya Sompalli, a Ukrainian-American and MedGlobal volunteer.

Sompalli and Bogdana Kashperovetska are Ukrainian-American volunteers doing what they can for their homeland from afar.

“We do it for people. And if my effort can save one life, that’s all I need to know.” said Kashperovetska, who is also a MedGlobal volunteer.

People can donate to the cause at MedGlobal.org.

Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Source: ABC7

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