Grand Marais pharmacist shares concerns for family and friends in Ukraine
Here on the North Shore of Minnesota, we are far from the war in Ukraine. Few of us know the people living there and could only watch the terrible events unfolding on television and online as Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. However, there is a family in our community with strong ties to Ukraine, who have friends and family in the war-torn country.
Dennis and Anna Krevechenko moved to Cook County in May 2021. Anna is the pharmacist at Sawtooth Mountain Clinic. Dennis, a former surgical technician, is self-employed offering sterile and deep cleaning services.
Dennis came to the United States in 1998. Anna met him in the U.S. in 2008. Anna went back to Ukraine and after a long-distance relationship, Anna joined Dennis in the U.S. in 2011.
Anna changed her career after coming to the United States, becoming a pharmacist—as her parents are in Ukraine.
Both Anna’s and Dennis’s parents, Anna’s brother, and many friends are in Ukraine right now. Speaking with WTIP, Anna said her parents are farther from the invasion, closer to the Ukraine border with Poland. Dennis’s family is on the other side of the country, three or four hours from active fighting. As of Friday, April 29, Anna said their families are safe “for now.” Their families plan to stay in Ukraine for now.
Anna’s brother, who had to evacuate the city where he lived, is assisting with transporting and with the refugee situation. But Anna has lost touch with some friends and she does not know if they are in another country, in hiding, or perhaps have been killed.
The Krevechenkos are able to communicate with friends and family at this time through the internet programs such as What’s App. But it is so hard, Anna said, to be so far away. She said it feels hopeless to not be able to get in the car and go to help.
Asked what the small North Shore community can do to help her family and the people of Ukraine, Anna replied that the community has already done much. She said she has had people come into the pharmacy to give her a hug, and tearfully she told WTIP, “It helps to realize that you are not alone. That you have someone who can help support you.”
The Krevechenkos are sending money to trusted contacts in Ukraine. Anyone who would like to learn more about how to help Ukraine, Anna can be reached by email: AnnaKrev@yahoo.com or call or text: 612-703-6379.
WTIP’s Rhonda Silence learns more about the Krevechenko family connections and the difficulty of being so far away from family at this time in this interview.