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A PLEA FOR HELP FROM UKRAINIAN-RAISED IOWA STATE PROFESSOR
by Valery I. Levitas is a distinguished professor in engineering at Iowa State University. These views are his own and do not necessarily represent Iowa State.

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

I am originally from Kyiv, Ukraine. My family and many of our friends are in Kyiv right now, in the middle of the war and bombing started by Russia's Vladimir Putin. My family spends most of the day and sleepless nights in a small, self-made underground cellar, where there is space for only four chairs. Time to time, they somehow accommodate neighbors with two small kids (one is a baby).

Food stores that can be reached are empty, neighbors share the remaining food, but it will end soon. After five days, hundreds of civilians had been killed, and thousands of civilians were wounded (including hundreds of kids) in Ukraine. Many civilian structures are destroyed around Ukraine.

Ukrainian military and civilian people are showing unbelievable courage! Civilians are helping the troops in any possible way: Men are joining the troops, neutralizing saboteurs, removing debris, restoring structures, placing barricades against tanks; senior people and women are helping distribute food, medical help, etc.

Unarmed people are gathering around Russian tanks and stop them from moving further with their bare hands. The best thing is, the strong spirit is supported by a great sense of humor, but it is difficult to currently express in academic language.

However, there are not enough weapons, medical supplies, food, drinking water, and warm clothes. We do not know how long this war will last. What we do know is the Ukrainian army and Ukrainian people need help right now! This is not a Ukrainian war; this is a war for future civilization and peace around the globe.

Many countries around the world and their citizens are supporting Ukraine and doing whatever they can to stop this war and get back to a normal peaceful life. Many want to help but do not know how.

According to the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States, you can support Ukrainian people and support fighting the war now by clicking here.

Please spread this message among your colleagues and friends, professional societies, and social groups.

Dear Russian Colleagues and Friends:

This letter was in no way written with any intention against you or Russian people who do not want this war.

My family and I, we speak Russian language ourselves; we grew up on Russian and Ukrainian literature, and we share the same culture with you. We still have a lot of close personal and professional connections with Russian people.

My only intention is to help Ukraine end this war as soon as possible and with minimal loss.


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