The entire world is impacted by the ongoing situation in Ukraine, and Aires is working diligently to assist our clients and their employees who are currently in the country. This blog post provides detail on Aires’ assistance efforts, along with country resources and ways that you can help. But first, we wanted to give voice to members of the Aires family who are directly impacted by this crisis. Their stories are below.
Diana Mikitin – Team Lead, Immigration: “I was born in the Ukraine but moved to the U.S. in 1999, so I’ve spent most of my life here; however, almost all of my mother’s family are still in the Ukraine. They’re located primarily in the Western region, so they are not directly impacted by damages or violence yet, but there are major supply chain issues beginning already – gas shortages, limited grocery store supplies, and a lack of money at ATMs.
The biggest worry for our family is the military draft and the fear and uncertainty of this time is felt by us all. All men 18-60 are unable to leave the country; veterans such as my uncle will likely be recruited to again serve, and his son may be recruited as well. My aunt and uncle have maintained a farm that has been in our family for several generations. This is the place they call home. Life on the farm must go on. Leaving it all behind or separating the family is not an option for them. We are praying for peace and everyone’s safety. All of your prayers and thoughts are so appreciated during this time.”
Vlad Kaminsky – Director, Information Technology and Applications: “I grew up in Ukraine and moved to the United States in the 90s as a teenager with my immediate family. I still have relatives and family friends in both Ukraine and Russia. My aunt lives in Lviv, in the Western part of Ukraine, about 40 miles from the border with Poland.
It’s very sad that this is happening. My heart goes out to all the Ukrainians. I hope and pray for everyone’s safety and for the Russian attack to end.”
Alena Werner – Mobility Specialist Elite: “My parents and I migrated to the U.S. from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, when I was 8 years old, but all of our family are still in Ukraine. Since the attack began, it’s been a very scary, stressful, and emotional time for us; the family we have left are too elderly to go anywhere.
Chernivtsi is in the West, so at this time our family is safe, and we can still Skype with them, but the town is now giving out guns to anyone that wants one. The situation could obviously escalate and become a nightmare at any moment. The people of Ukraine have done nothing to deserve this situation; the helplessness facing them is a terrible feeling. All I can really ask during this uncertain and difficult time is for everyone’s prayers that this ends as quickly as possible.”
Aires’ Response for Clients and Assignees
Aires has begun our Emergency Protocol and has identified transferring families in Ukraine. Aires Client Service Managers are working swiftly to contact clients and determine next steps and actions required. Understanding that the situation is fluid, we are working with local partners to provide information as quickly as possible.
Currently, families have been advised to evacuate, but closed airports, traffic, and immigration requirements are making it difficult at best. We have been in communication with our local service partners to assist with immigration, housing, and other mobility support. We are also in contact with security specialists who are available to provide support for those wanting to evacuate.
Information is coming in fast. As the situation continues to evolve, Aires will do whatever possible to support your employees and keep you updated on our capabilities.
- Land border crossings are open in Poland, Romania (Siret is suggested), Hungary (Záhony is suggested), and Slovakia. Please see country-specific resources below. For those wanting to travel to other locations in the European Union, this website lists all travel restrictions for member states.
- Businesses and public transportation are continuing to operate; however, there is heavy traffic headed toward the borders.
- U.S. citizens who decide to remain in Ukraine and do not depart immediately (as advised) should complete this online form from the U.S. Department of State. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should be aware that the U.S. government will not be able to evacuate U.S. citizens in the event of Russian military action anywhere in Ukraine.
Aires and our service partners are here to support you and your employees. Please let us know if you need support and we will do everything in our power to assist.
Country-Specific Resources for Land Travel
Poland: Please call +48 22 504 2784 or +48 22 504 2000 (Embassy Warsaw), or +48 12 424 5100 (Consulate General Krakow), or email ACSWarsaw@state.gov or KrakowACS@state.gov for further information. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Poland’s website includes information on entry and exit requirements.
Romania: Please call +40 41 270 6000 or email ACSBucharest@state.gov for further information. The Romanian Border Police’s website also provides relevant information. The U.S. Embassy in Romania’s website describes entry and exit requirements (located under the header “Entry and Exit Requirements”).
Hungary: Please contact +36 1 475 4400 by phone or ACS.Budapest@state.gov by email for further information. The Hungarian Police’s website provides relevant information. The U.S. Embassy in Hungary’s website describes entry and exit requirements (located under the header “Entry and Exit Requirement”).
Slovakia: A list of open border crossings is on the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava’s website. Please call +421 2 5443 0861 or +421 903 703 666 by phone or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information. The U.S. Embassy in Slovakia’s website describes entry and exit requirements (located under the header “Entry and Exit Requirements”) in more detail.
Moldova: Those traveling to Moldova by land from Ukraine should avoid the Transnistria region and cross into Moldova either to the north or south of the region. Please contact +373 2240 8300 by phone or ChisinauACS@state.gov by email for further information. Travelers should not enter Moldova through the breakaway region of Transnistria, where the U.S. Embassy has limited access and cannot provide the full range of assistance to U.S. citizens. Travelers should note the Chisinau-Odesa train goes through Transnistria as well. More information on Transnistria can be found here. The Moldovan Border Police’s website provides relevant information (in Romanian). The U.S. Embassy in Moldova’s COVID-19 website describes entry and exit requirements in full under the header “Entry and Exit Requirements.”
How to Help – On-the-Ground Aid Organizations
There are many organizations on the ground in Ukraine working to provide relief and aid during this crisis. While not an exhaustive list, we have provided information on several organizations diligently working to provide support.
- Ukrainian Red Cross: This organization works to collect blood donations and provide emergency services. Donations can be made, and additional information is available, at this website.
- Razom for Ukraine: Razom Emergency Response was created to provide urgent help and support in Ukraine. Started in 2013, the organization fundraises for emergency needs in Ukraine, partnering with in-country and international support organizations. The organization purchases and delivers essential equipment and goods, translates documents, and shares vital information during crisis in Ukraine. You can donate to Razom through this link.
- CARE Ukraine Crisis Fund: CARE is providing humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Donations will provide food, water, and hygiene kits to those most vulnerable in Ukraine.