PARMA, Ohio — At Pokrova Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church in Parma, they have been preparing pierogi for their Lenten sales and fish fries.
Julie has been rolling stuffing and pinching pierogi for 34 years, but friend Maria says this year is different. This year, with every piece of dough that's cut, they think of their families in Ukraine.
"This Putin is very bad," Maria Lugsishin laments.
Vladimir Putin and his army invaded Ukraine on Feb. 20. Since then, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been requesting more help from the world. He will get his chance to address the United States during a speech before Congress on Tuesday, and Myron Sopka says this is his time
"We didn't expect it," Sopka said of Zelenskyy's rise from comedic actor to national hero. "He changed a lot, he [grew] up as a president. Everybody supports him."
Yes, supporting Zelenskyy is what they do. They want him to ask for more guns and military equipment, but it's about much more than that.
"We want our peace," one woman said, "and cover our skies."
"We need freedom from Russia," another declared.
Democratic freedom they have now, and a leader who is fighting for it.
In a small room, they hope and pray as they make pierogi. They will sell them and believe, with each package, that Ukraine will be free again said a church goer
"God bless each country, America and Ukraine, and we must be together."