Welcome.US Statement on Two-Year Anniversary of Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Honoring Bravery of Ukrainian People and Compassion of American Sponsors

Press Release

February 23, 2024


Nearly 350,000 Americans have welcomed nearly 180,000 displaced Ukrainians to over 11,000 zip codes over the past two years through sponsorship

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Welcome.US CEO Nazanin Ash issued the following statement today ahead of the two-year anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine on February 24:

“For two long years, the Ukrainian people have shown incredible resilience in the face of a Russian invasion that has killed and maimed thousands, disrupted millions of lives, and threatens Ukraine’s right to self-determination. While Ukrainians bravely defend their country, many others—often mothers with children or elderly relatives—have been forced to flee their homes to find safety. In what has become one of the most significant refugee crises in Europe since the World Wars, over six million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine to seek safety as refugees abroad.

“People in the United States immediately volunteered to help these families find refuge—through sponsorship with the U.S. government’s Uniting for Ukraine program. Since the launch of Uniting for Ukraine in Spring 2022, nearly 350,000 Americans have filed applications to support a Ukrainian fleeing war. And through their generosity and compassion nearly 180,000 displaced Ukrainians have already found safety in communities all across the United States. The willingness of everyday Americans to step up and help people in need has been a powerful bright spot of hope in a difficult time for so many.

“These Ukrainian newcomers and the Americans who have sponsored them are each inspiring examples of the strength of neighbors, family, and communities in preserving what we hold dear and what Ukraine continues to fight for: freedom, democracy, and a safe and secure home.

“But there is so much more to do. There remain many people in Ukraine in unsafe situations. American sponsors can offer a bridge to safety for these families, helping them land on their feet and feel welcomed in a new community. Only with the support of an American sponsor can people from Ukraine access this designated pathway to refuge in the United States.

“As Mykolia Hnatiuk, a Ukrainian newcomer welcomed by an American family in Unity, Wisconsin, shared, ‘Ukrainians are the same people as Americans, and they’re being killed every day, right now in Ukraine. And, everything is taken from them: their lives, their livelihoods, everything that they had and their kids had is destroyed, daily. If anyone can help a Ukrainian family or somebody from Ukraine to survive and overcome these difficulties in these times, Ukrainians will be eternally grateful for their help. And there's a lot of people who need help in Ukraine because the war hasn’t ended. It's still going on. Every day there's more and more Ukrainians who need help.’”

About Welcome.US

At Welcome.US, our mission is to unleash the desire and capacity of Americans to welcome newcomers and help them thrive. We operate on the evidence that direct participation with newcomers transforms both the welcomer and those being welcomed. We are not an advocacy organization or an operational agency providing direct services to newcomers. By making it easier for Americans from all walks of life to participate in the work of welcoming—and telling their stories—we are building a movement that celebrates America’s welcoming spirit by providing an opportunity to serve for all who seek to welcome. Our diverse community of Welcomers reaches across real and perceived divides to meet the needs of newcomers more effectively.

In partnership with local and national resettlement agencies, diaspora organizations and leaders, refugees, community sponsorship groups, nonprofits, businesses, faith-based institutions, veterans, universities, four former Presidents and four former First Ladies, Welcome.US is the single point of entry for Americans who want to get involved and support those who are starting new lives in the United States.

To learn more about Welcome.US, please visit welcome.us.

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