Ukranians in metro Atlanta mark one year since Russian invasion

When the war broke out, many Ukrainians already called metro Atlanta home.
Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 9:48 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - It’s been one year since Russia invaded, launching Europe’s bloodiest battle since World War Two.

Now, Ukrainians forced to flee are trying to make new lives here in metro Atlanta.

Alexandra Slasnaya is a Ukrainian woman who was forced to grab her son and flee Ukraine, now living here in Atlanta. She thought this would go a couple weeks, then maybe a couple months. but here we are. A year since the first Russian attacks and the conflict continues.

Slasnaya moved to Atlanta in April. She’s found a sense of calm and community.

“I know a lot of people here already. I feel strong. And I feel that we will win. And I feel that it’s a huge power of community and of people,” she said.

When the war broke out, many Ukrainians already called metro Atlanta home.

One year ago, we spoke with Andrej Komenko at his home in Roswell. During the middle of our interview, he got a call from his dad living outside of Kiev.

“So they just announced air bombardment alerts and everybody should take shelter,” he said.

We checked back in with Komenko. His dad is okay and his brother in Kiev is learning to live life amidst a war. He just had a kid.

Komenko said the war inspired a sense of civic responsibility. He and his wife started the Ukrainian School of Atlanta in September, now with about 50 students.

Komenko, whose grandfather served in the Soviet Union, said his brothers are ready to fight for Ukraine if and when the time comes. He’s watched the war shift from an outpouring of donations and humanitarian efforts to what he calls an adult war: a call for tanks and fighter jets.

He waits while the war wears on.

He said, “when I say the western world is waking up, I mean Europe too.”

There will be a rally in Piedmont Park Feb. 25 to mark the year anniversary of the war. Organizers said they expect up to a thousand people.