Open Letter from Dr. Alexander Kirichenko, Allegheny Health Network:

” Dear Sir or Madame,

Many of you have heard of the recent events taking place in Eastern Europe, with Russia ultimately crippling Ukraine economically and politically by the takeover of Crimea, along with its military invasion to Eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk. Terrorists backed up by elite Russian troops and equipped by newest Russian weapons fire their rockets, heavy shells and grenades to cities and villages on both sides of the front line.  On January 24th 2015 terrorists launched heavy rockets on the residential area of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol that is 25 km. south of the active conflict zone. This attack claimed lives of 31 innocent civilians and left more than 100 people wounded.
Since the beginning of the Russian invasion more than 5 000 people were killed, and more than 10 000 wounded. Over 921 000 people were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in other regions of Ukraine. Civilians staying in the war zone (mostly elderly and economically disadvantaged people)  live in constant fear for their lives. On January 27th 2015 the Ukrainian Parliament officially classified separatists of Donetsk and Luhansk  as terrorist organizations backed by the Russian Federation as the military invader.
The worldwide condemnation of the Russian invasion has offered significant support to Ukraine; however, in addition to strong words about the humanitarian crisis ( there is little medical aid being systematically provided to both military and civilian victims of the war. Throughout my recent trip to Ukraine (including Mariupol and near-by Berdyansk among other cities) I witnessed the dismal conditions of the severely under-supplied hospitals with frequent cutoffs of electricity, disruption in water flow and heating. In the areas affected by war small community hospitals and clinics have become front line trauma centers, desperately attempting to aid the influx of wounded military and civilian victims. It is in this time of crisis that I turn to you to request medical aid to the Ukrainian hospitals at the front line of the conflict.  
There is major shortage of the following basic items:
  1. Broad spectrum antibiotics (both for oral and parenteral use), anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal agents, ibuprofen, pepto-bismol, colace, pediatric multivitamins.
  2. Medical gloves, suture/staple kits, alcohol/iodine swabs, assorted gauze bandages, band aids, assorted disposable needles and syringes, burn dressings;
  3. Hemorrhage control: tourniquets, Emergency Trauma Bandages, hemostatic agents, s.a. Celox;
  4. Airway management: large bore catheters for needle chest decompression, chest seal dressings, nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal airway support, naso-gastric tubes;
  5. Fluid resuscitation: IV fluids and tubing, large bore IV catheters;
  6. OR furniture: cabinets, instrument Mayo stands, basin stands, overbed tables, IV poles, table pads, etc.
It is okay to collect expired but still operational items (except medications and items for oral and parenteral use).
In addition, we are collecting monetary donations to cover container shipment to Ukraine and to purchase medical equipment, such as a portable X-ray machine for the operating rooms. There are front-line hospitals where surgeons explore shrapnel wounds in the absence of image guidance – such an X-ray machine which would be dramatically helpful.
Collected aid and purchased equipment will be donated directly to the Ukrainian hospitals through The Ukrainian Community of Western Pennsylvania (UCOWPA) with delivery supervision by the International Rehabilitation Center “Maidan Hospital”. We will receive photographs and letters from the recipient hospitals about the donated items.

The Ukrainian Community of Western Pennsylvania is a public charity exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, so your donations are tax-deductible to the full extent provided by law.

Read more about “Maidan Hospital” on


Write a check to UCOWPA with the note: “Maidan Hospital” and send it to: UCOWPA, P.O.Box 13465, Pittsburgh, PA, 15243-3465



Victoria Nuland: Testimony on Ukraine Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee (TRANSCRIPT)

Voices of Ukraine

US Department of State
Testimony on Ukraine Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee

File photo File photo

Victoria Nuland
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee
Washington, DC
March 4, 2015

As prepared

Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel and members of this committee – thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today on the situation in Ukraine and for your personal investment in that country’s future. As many of you know from your travels, your meetings and your bipartisan engagement, Ukrainians deeply appreciate this committee’s support on behalf of their country’s security, democracy, sovereignty and future prosperity.

We also share your sadness and outrage over the murder of freedom fighter, Russian patriot, and friend, Boris Nemtsov, who was senselessly gunned down in central Moscow last week. The outpouring of concern from Congress, including this Committee, again demonstrates bipartisan U.S. respect for…

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Military surgeon killed near Debaltseve while rescuing wounded soldiers

Hundreds of Chernivtsi citizens went to the funeral of Vladislav Trepko, 28, a military surgeon who died February 12th near Debaltseve. His former colleagues remembered him as a talented physician and a kind person. Vladislav served in the Ukrainian Army since March 2014 and planned to return home in a few weeks. Recently he shortly visited his family but came back to the front line before the end of his scheduled leave because he knew his comrades are in a great need of medical help.
“His medical unit was involved into the rescue of wounded soldiers from Debaltsevo. There was a field hospital near Logvinovo. Vladislav made several trips that day, and when he was coming to help another wounded soldier, he got under the fire and he was killed” , the Chernivtsi Regional Military Commissioner said.

See the whole report in Ukrainian on:–70497.html 

Artyomovsk hospital bears Debaltseve casualty burden

Artemisvsk is a medium-size city of about 77 000 people in Donetsk region. Before the war it was best known for its “champagne-like” wine. The main city clinic never expected  to be a military hospital.  You could see the old yellow sign “OPTIMA” (optometry) by the door of the hospital followed by the new sign “Surgical Unit. Ground Floor”.

Ukrainian servicemen from a military medical unit stand near Artyomovsk hospital as they wait for injured soldiers from Debaltseve to arrive on Feb. 2

Ukrainian servicemen from a military medical unit carry a stretcher with an injured soldier.

Read more in Anastasiya Vlasova’s report on

Хлопці й цуценята: фото Associated Press із зони бойових дій на Сході України./ Boys and puppies: AP photo from the war zone in Eastern Ukraine.

З Facebook сторінки фотоагенства Associated Press (фотографія Євгена Малолетки): “Українські військовослужбовці зігрівають своїх собак під своїми куртками. Маріуполь, Україна, 28 січня 2015 року [чотири дні після терористичної ракетної атаки на мирні квартали міста, що забрала життя 31 цивільної особи] За даними ООН починаючи з квітня військовий конфлікт між сепаратистами та укрядовими військами привів до загибелі більше ніж 5 100 людей.”

From AP Images Facebook page: “Ukrainian servicemen put their dogs under the jackets to keep them warm in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. The military conflict between Russia-backed separatists and the government forces in eastern Ukraine has been raging since April, claiming more than 5,100 lives, according to the United Nations. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)”

Therapy pets for wounded soldiers / Домашні тварини як метод терапії для поранених військовослужбовців.

Позитивний вплив домашніх тварин на поранених та військовослужбовців, що страждають від травматичного стресу,  добре відомий. Процитована на сторінках цього блогу стаття про котів, що допомагають українським бійцям в зоні АТО – свідчення, що така терапія розповсюджується в Україні як своєрідний засіб самолікування, який знаходять для себе самі бійці. Думаю, що українським лікарям-психотерапевтам та соціальним працівникам буде цікаво ознайомитися з методами застосування  “терапії домашніх тварин” (Animal-Assisted Therapy).

Підхід до цієї терапії може бути різним, та ініціюватися як державними, так і благодійними організаціями. Так, Департамент Медицини Армії США має цілу програму по застосуванню терапевтичних собак, яку освітлено в спеціальному журналі Canine-Assisted Therapy in Military Medicine (Терапія за допомогою собак у військовій медицині) Випуск від квітня 2012 р. можна подивитися онлайн:  

Статті написані як військовими, так і цивільними лікарями, викладачами університетів, адміністраторами та соціальними працівниками, які розглядають різні аспекти залучення собак до процесу лікування. Наприклад:

LCDR Kathleen L. Watkins, USPHS, “Policy Initiatives for the Use of Canines in Army Medicine” (Легальна база для ініціативи з використання собак у військовій медицині),

CPT Christine E. Beck; MAJ Florie Gonzales, Jr; Carol Haertlein Sells; et al,  “The Effects of Animal-Assisted Therapy on Wounded Warriors in an Occupational Therapy Life Skills Program” (Ефекти терапії за допомогою тварин на поранених вояків, які проходять реабілітацію)

Rick A. Yount, MS; Meg D. Olmert; Mary R. Lee, MD, “Dog Training Program for Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress in Service Members” (Тренування собак для лікування пост-травматичного синдрому у військовослужбовців)

З іншого боку, проблеми підготовки та використання домашніх тварин для терапії розглядаються на вебсайтах спеціалізованих благодійних організацій, таких як Pet Partners (Тварини-партнери): . Ця загальноамериканська організація займається розробкою методів тренування тварин, проводить  тренінги та видає ліцензії для місцевих цивільних і військових тренерів та центрів.   На вебсайті теж розміщено онлайн-журнал Pet Partners Interactions Magazine. У першому випуску 2015 року розміщено статистику про підготовку тварин та їхню службу на користь людям. Так, на даний час службу несуть 9912 сертифікованих організацією собак, 198 котів, 202 коней, 78 кроликів, 29 пташок, 22 морські свинки, 6 в’єтнамських мініатюрних свиней, 21 лама і 2 щурів. (