Eyes Wide Open: Ukraine Friends CEO meets with key military strategist Vitaliy Kim on the frontlines

Eyes Wide Open: Ukraine Friends CEO meets with key military strategist Vitaliy Kim on the frontlines

Image of Joe Sullivan with Vitaliy Kim in Ukraine. Credit: Rachael Ray/Ukraine Friends

Ukraine Friends CEO, Joe Sullivan, returned from the front lines of the war in Ukraine with a message to the world: “Ukraine still needs our help. They need our support and they need it now”.

In a Spanish exclusive, the American celebrity chef Rachael Ray shared an interesting story about her work in Ukraine with Euro Weekly News. She travels back and forth to Ukraine to help out as much as possible every other month.

Rachael told EWN about, Joe Sullivan, the CEO of Ukraine Friends. Just last month, he put his life in peril to meet with Vitaliy Kim, a man heralded as a “master motivator and symbol of Ukraine’s resistance”.

“Yes there were missiles constantly cruising over our heads,” Sullivan recalled. “Putin sent a $20 million dollar missile aimed specifically for Kim”.

He continued: “When you have one man able to puncture the legend of Russia’s might, you get targeted. But, Kim remains undeterred. He is calm, and he loves his country. Even more so, I was so moved when I discovered the man has a huge heart”.

Back in June of last year, just months into the war, Ukraine’s key military leader and strategist, told the New York Times, “To win the war, you need to love the war. Love what you are doing, reconcile with the situation you are in, find something good in every circumstance, in small victories, in results”.

Reading those words, Sullivan became determined to meet the man. He felt he had to venture beyond the city of Lviv, where he and his non-profit, Ukraine Friends, had been doing so much to help the hundreds of orphans there, who had their families needlessly taken from them.

Sullivan decided he needed to go to the front lines to see for himself the truth of this war, the reality, to be where the Ukrainian army was risking their lives minute by minute. 

”I needed to know,” said Sullivan. “Wouldn’t you want to meet the man who has become the symbol of hope for an entire country and the world?”.

“I was amazed to find out when I met with Vitaliy Kim that he is much more than a master strategist, a master motivator, and a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance against Russia’s war”, explained Sullivan. “The man has compassion, and, in many ways, he has become the father for 80,000 kids”.

What Sullivan was stunned to find out – and that made his eyes open wide at the time – was that Kim was not only working hard to lift the spirits of the soldiers fighting this senseless war. It turned out that he was also responsible for over 80,000 kids who have been forced since the war started to learn their studies remotely.

The kids in grades K through 12th grade have 10,000 laptops. They need 70,000 more. That’s one of the things that Ukraine Friends is addressing. The priority for Kim, which really hasn’t been reported, is the daily work he organises to give all these kids an education. Education is always the key”, added Sullivan.

Ukraine Friends are giving the people of Ukraine, young and old, a sense of hope, that they are NOT alone, that the world will not stand idly by, and that their future begins today. Donations can be made to the organisation by visiting: www.ukrainefriends.org

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com