A Ukrainian-born Maryland lawmaker wants more action to aid Ukraine in the fight against the Russian invasion.
Del. Kirill Reznik, of District 39, was born in Kyiv in 1974. Although his family left the country when he was 4, he still feels the pain of losing a piece of his past when he sees the devastation of the war.
“They are places that are part of family heritage, family stories,” said Reznik. “We’re lucky we’re not having to make the decisions people in Ukraine are: their livelihood or their life, or their family or their life, or — you know, everything they’ve known or their life.”
Reznik doesn’t believe the United States has done enough in response to the war.
“I have a master’s degree in international peace and conflict resolution, so it pains me to say this in most cases, but this is one of those times … we need to send as much arms and munitions as we can to help them to defend themselves,” Reznik said. “This is not the time to skimp on those kinds of assistance either.”
He also believes we need to be doing more for the people of Ukraine who are being forced to flee for their lives.
“The U.S. government has not changed its position on a refugee resettlement from Ukraine. We are pushing for that, for the refugee resettlement program to be reopened for Ukrainian immigrants right now,” said Reznik.
If you are feeling helpless watching the images of the war zone, Reznik said, there is something you can do: “Advocate on behalf of those folks who you’ve never met before and you may never. But know that they are going through something that we gratefully have never had to go through.”
He is, however, proud of lawmakers in Maryland for jumping to action to do their part to support Ukraine.
“I am so incredibly grateful to my colleagues here in Annapolis on both sides of the aisle,” Reznik said. “They have been so quick when we have made efforts to the take state action — which is limited, admittedly.” But Maryland has divested pensions from Russian assets, he said, and added, “I’m sponsoring a resolution expressing our support for the people and government of Ukraine.”
And his praise goes all the way to the top.
“I have not been a biggest fan of the governor, and he knows it,” said Reznik, “but I am so grateful to his very quick response — not just holding a rally in support, but looking at state contracts and helping with divestiture and everything that we could possibly do. It has been incredible.”