Local business owners speak about the invasion of their home country Ukraine

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Posted at 6:07 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 18:23:13-05

JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A bakery in Nicholasville has been getting a lot of community support since the Russian invasion began.

The owners of European Delights are a family that is originally from Ukraine but have been in the U.S. for some time.

Invasions in Ukraine hit close to home for the family that owns European Delights Gourmet Bakery, where Elena Maydanovich and her sister Maria Gavrilov are shop owners, both born in Ukraine.

"A lot of family members have been emotional because some of the ladies they have their kids there, or the mom and dad there -- so it’s been very emotional for the last couple of days," Maydanovich says.

While this family has been in the United States for the last 30 years, they say their hearts and minds are still in their home country, as they pray for their family and friends that are still there.

"So I spoke with them this morning, just to see how we can help. And you know most of them said you know we've got a lot of help coming in from different countries,” says Gavrilov.

Including the U.S., Gavrilov says people have been trying to send money -- but the friends she spoke with say what they need the most is prayer.

"She said the thing that we want most is for us to be in a country that's free, and we just want to live in peace," Gavrilov said.

The family has owned this bakery for 12 years. They came to the U.S. for religious freedom and opportunity. They say some customers couldn't place Ukraine on a map, but they believe their shop has helped connect a variety of cultures. They say this conflict isn't between the people.

Gavrilov says, "I spoke with a friend that lives in Moscow, yesterday, and she said there's been a lot of people that are protesting against this, right? And they don't really want this because they still have family in Ukraine and it's affecting them."

This family wants unity.

Maydanovich says, "I would just say, I just pray. I am against violence no matter what country it is in."

Gavrilov adds, "We just want to be able to serve not only this community but be able to serve our families back in Ukraine, serve our friends and family back in Russia. In whatever way we can whether it's financially, praying for them or even just educating people to know where Ukraine is and who they are as a people."

The bakery owners say they will continue to pray for peace. They say the community support and kind words during this time has meant everything.