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Ukrainian chef with ties to SoCal speaks on humanitarian efforts in Ukraine

Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-27 20:48:56-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As Russia's attack on Ukraine escalates, Ukrainians are stepping up to help those on the front line and others. 

10News spoke with a chef in Ukraine, Zhenya, who goes by the American name Eugene.

Eugene went to culinary school in Southern California. He owns a chain of ramen shops in Ukraine's capital of Kyiv.

Currently, two of Eugene's shops act as bomb shelters for refugees in need. Another location serves as a base for staff and volunteers who deliver meals and run food supplies around the city.

"I have delivered food to peaceful civilians. I have delivered food to bases where they educate the young men who know how to shoot and who know how to fight," said Eugene.

Eugene says there have been armed conflicts throughout Kyiv since Russia's invasion last week.

"It's a mix of sirens and bomb shelling," said Eugene.

The mayor of Kyiv has ordered people to stay home. Eugene says his team was given a special permit to be able to deliver food and resources.

However, his supplies will last much longer. With the help of his ex-wife, who lives in California, they have set up an online fundraiser to keep up operations.

"I want all Americans to know how we value all the support, the financial support, and the armed support."

Its support Eugene hopes will continue as they fight to protect their country and freedoms.

"We want the whole world to see how unjust these actions are and do something," said Eugene.