A Local Ukrainian’s Perspective on the Situation in Her Homeland

Local fashion blogger Lesia Fasiak tries to support family and friends back home in Ukraine from her home in Southeast Massachusetts.
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Lesia Fasiak and her daughter at the Boston rally for Ukraine.

Lesia Fasiak’s family members may be 4,400 miles away, but they are foremost in her mind and heart right now.

Her mother, father and sister – as well as her sister’s husband and their three children – are in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, as Russian forces continue to batter the Eastern European country. For the time being, they’re safe; the city is in the western part of the country, somewhat removed from the fighting that’s taking place in eastern cities like Kyiv and Kharkiv.

But that doesn’t stop Fasiak, who was born in the Ukraine, from worrying, calling home daily and checking her phone around the clock for updates.

“Everyone is trying to do what they can to help in the war,” says the thirty-four-year-old local fashion blogger and influencer (@styledbylesia).

A cousin is training to serve in the citizen army, and a friend is making masking nets for soldiers. Her mother, an avid canner, is helping to collect food and bring it to donation centers, which are then ferried – along with medication, money and baby formula – to Kyiv.

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Since it’s still relatively safe, the city has been taking in refugees from parts of the country hardest hit by the invasion.

“People are becoming one,” says the Attleboro, Massachusetts, resident. “It makes me very proud, how strong they are.”

She talks with her family every day. They have food and supplies but aren’t using their car to save gas in case they need to flee the country. Once a night, they have to go down to the basement because of air raid sirens.

She feels helpless being so far away, so she’s doing what she can by sharing stories and videos about the war to her sizable following (about 23,000 people) on Instagram.

“People in Ukraine need encouragement,” Fasiak says. “They need to know that people are helping; they need to hear that everyone is standing with them.”

She has links to ways people can support Ukraine on her Instagram page, which – after her usual posts about luxe fashion and gorgeous entrees – feels a bit strange.

“I’m a fashion blogger,” she says, “but I haven’t thought about posting food or clothing since this started. Right now, I’m trying to get people’s attention.

“I’m so out of my element. But I’ll do anything for Ukraine.”

She and her six-year-old daughter recently attended a rally for the Ukrainian people in Boston, and she was heartened to see so much support. She’s trying to teach her daughter of the importance of standing up for Ukrainian residents, even though she’s so far from home.

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The other day, they received a long-delayed Christmas package from Fasiak’s mother filled with Ukrainian chocolates and other goodies.

At first, her daughter was ecstatic, but then her a look of confusion crossed her face.

“Why is grandma sending us gifts?” she asked. “We have to take care of Ukraine right now.”


You can find ways to support Ukraine at Fasiak’s Instagram account (@styledbylesia). You can also make a donation at Friends of Ukraine RI, a local effort led by Brown University professors, fellows and faculty members to bring medical supplies to the country’s front lines.



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