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Refugee raising money to send generators to Ukraine

Yana Malyk arrived in Colorado Springs from Ukraine in July. She and her two daughters escaped the war.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Generators are in high demand in Ukraine while the country struggles with Russia targeting its power grid. 

Yana Malyk has heard the stories from family members throughout Ukraine as they struggle to find heat as the country's energy infrastructure is attacked. 

"It's terrible," Malyk said while looking at photos of her husband's hometown. 

Malyk arrived in Colorado Springs from Ukraine in July. She and her two daughters escaped the war.

Credit: Jaleesa Irizarry

"Everywhere is dangerous because many Russia rockets hit Ukraine every day," she said. 

On Friday, Russian forces launched at least 60 missiles across Ukraine. Analysts said the strikes are targeting the country's power grid to try and freeze Ukrainians into surrendering. It's left thousands, including Yana's friends and family, in the dark.

"People can't cook food and keep warm. It's terrible," Malyk said. 

The challenges inspired Malyk to start Ukraine Power, a group that raises funds to send generators to Ukraine. 

"The thing we need to do is keep them alive through a very cold winter," Whitney Luckett, cofounder of Ukraine Power, said. 

Luckett sponsored Malyk and her family to come to the United States.

Credit: Ukraine Power

"It was very difficult to wake up in the morning and see Yana with tears brimming in her eyes because a friend had been killed," Luckett said. "We're coming up on a year of war, and what I see in the people living in our house right now is a strength I rarely see in Americans, and that type of spirit is what Russia is trying to destroy, and we can't let that happen." 

Luckett and Malyk said their first shipment of 45 generators left London on Friday. They are continuing to raise money to send more generators in the coming weeks.

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