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Russian-born Austinites support Ukraine by bringing medical supplies: Inna Adamovich makes sacrifices for Ukraine – News

Inna and Alexander Adamovich with luggage full of medical supplies (courtesy of Inna Adamovich)

For Inna Adamovich, phone calls with her mother have been a challenge since the start of the war in Ukraine. The Russian propaganda machine has driven a wedge between a mother living in Russia and a daughter living in Austin. The war has had a similar effect on Adamovich’s relationships with her brother, cousins ​​and some of her Russian-speaking friends in the United States.

“I lost all relations with my family in Russia because they fully supported the war,” she said. “It just happened overnight, to normal people who have traveled the world, who have been to America many times.”

Adamovich grew up in the Soviet Union (now Russia). She attended university in Moscow and met her current husband Alexander in January 1988. They married in December of that year, but the couple saw a limited future in the Soviet Union. For one thing, the Chernobyl disaster had cast a shadow on Alexander’s field of nuclear engineering, and he still wanted to work with computers.

The couple decided to move to the US in 1991, hoping to build a better life for their children. Inna started working as a sonographer and Alexander as a software developer. After 30 years in Maryland, the Adamovichs moved to Austin in 2021, looking for something new. “We fell in love with Texas for a while,” Inna said. “We love this area. Hill Country, Austin, Johnson City, everything. We love Texas.”

Then, Vladimir Putin’s forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. They immediately opposed the war, but it was not until May of that year, during a trip to Oslo, Norway, that their plan to support Ukraine began to take shape. During the trip, they met some Ukrainians and attended a gathering celebrating the Ukrainian holiday Vyshyvanka Day. “We decided that next year we will go to Kiev for that day anyway,” Alexander recalls.

Before traveling to Ukraine in May 2023, a friend in Ukraine told Alexander to bring tourniquets, a device used to stop bleeding. On the way home from that trip, they stopped in Krakow, Poland. After visiting a museum, the couple sat down on a bench and decided they wanted to make their operation official. From then on, they applied to become a non-profit organization called STAYWITHUKRAINE INC.

“I have lost all relations with my family in Russia because they fully support the war.”
– Russian-born Austinite Inna Adamovich

Since then they have fallen into a routine. They raise about $25,000, load 500 pounds of equipment into 10 to 12 pieces of luggage and travel to Kiev about every two months. Inna utilizes her network in the medical field, picking up supplies from Ally Medical ER, Physician Premier ER and other hospitals. Inna and Alexander have been to Ukraine seven times since the start of the war, always responding to changing needs, bringing with them everything from hemostatic bandages to decompression needles to stretcher-like vehicles that can be used to transport wounded people on the front lines back to ambulances and hospitals.

Some donors have expressed concerns about giving money due to concerns about corruption in Ukraine, according to Inna. “I will deliver everything to Ukraine myself, and then we already know people there who will be on the ground on the front line,” Inna said.

One of the people they know in Ukraine is Dr. Viktor Oshovskyy, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Kiev. Oshovskyy said most doctors in his field have continued with business as usual. After all, women continue to have children. “I admire how brave they are,” he said of those who had children.

Another small portion serves in the army, which Oshovskyy praised for their bravery. He added that the group is exhausted. “Sometimes when I feel exhausted, I say to myself, ‘Well, boy, they’re exhausted… How can you be exhausted? Just get up and go to work,” he said.

He continues his work as a doctor, but combines that with volunteer work for the doctors on the front line. He also volunteers at stabilization points, helping to stop the bleeding of the injured and stabilize them so they can be transferred to a hospital.

Oshovskyy has a vivid memory of the first meeting with Alexander and Inna. “We went to the train station, and these beautiful people got off the train, and I saw eleven big bags, like suitcases, and my heart started beating faster,” he said. “When Inna said I could give half to you, I was just very happy, and in the following days we sent everything to the places where it was needed.”

He said Inna’s commitment to Ukraine goes beyond just delivering supplies. She visits the square where flags represent fallen soldiers and seeks conversations with the mothers of those soldiers. Oshovskyy hopes that ordinary Americans, like the Adamovichs, will continue to support Ukraine, and said he is grateful for the way they pushed the U.S. government to fund the war effort.

The Adamovichs have also worked with local groups, including JC Clapsaddle, which has done extensive volunteer work in support of Ukraine as part of the Rotary Club of San Antonio. Clapsaddle saw the STAYWITHUKRAINE INC website and thought they could get discounts if they ordered things together. The Adamovichs also work with the Rotary Club to bring used vehicles full of supplies from the UK to Ukraine.

Clapsaddle expressed frustration at the way the US government has wavered in its support for Ukraine. “We’ve starved them of weapons, and when America does that, other countries start to look around and say, ‘If America falls out of this game, what’s going to happen?’” he said. “They really suffered during that time.”

But he added that there is a simple way people can support the effort: cash. He said a high school in Mason City, Iowa, gave him $250. “I showed them the pile of flour and food and cooking oil that (sells) for $250, and it’s significant.”

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