Friday, January 16, 2015

UCU Helps Ukraine: Ruslan Filipsonov and info on our new initiative

Ruslan Filipsonov, 24 year old severely injured by
explosives while rescuing his injured friends near Luhansk.
The Ukrainian Credit Union Limited is proud to announce "UCU Helps Ukraine" - a powerful and effective campaign initiated by our very own Kateryna Litvinjuk and her network of friends working at the Lviv Military Hospital. 

Every few weeks, we will focus our efforts and collect money to assist in the rehabilitation of a soldier (and his family) who has been seriously injured in the current Ukrainian conflict. 

This month, we are collecting to help support Ruslan Filipsonov, a 24 year-old Ukrainian solider who has survived tremendous skeletal and soft tissue damage in a series of horrendous explosions and shelling attacks at the end of August in Hryhorijivka near Luhansk. Everyday, he displays the same bravery he exhibited when he dragged six of his fellow soldiers to safety in the middle of an intense shelling by tanks. In shielding the body of a seventh friend with his own, he sustained his most severe internal injuries, and has since undergone 36 surgeries to carefully reconstruct what is left of his lower torso and body. 

Ruslan holds onto the hope that one day he will be able to stand on his two feet again, and resume his role as the rock in his family. He stays positive and often laughs with his friends on Skype. He is kept company by his mom, sister, and her two children, whom he supported prior to going to fight, and wants nothing more than to one day return home to them, and is regularly visited by volunteers.

How UCU Helps Ukraine began
Ruslan with volunteer Yuri Lipar at the Lviv Military Hospital.
When Kateryna's good friend Anna, who works at the Lviv Military Hospital told her of the stories some of these soldiers were bringing back, Kateryna could not sit still. What started as a collection among a group of friends has become a tight network of volunteers dedicated to delivering the required support to severely injured soldiers who may be in need of complex prosthetics, surgeries, therapy and assistance beyond what the Lviv hospital can provide.

After vetting contacts and ensuring that monies sent from Canada were being spent on what they were intended for, the Ukrainian Credit Union officially supports Kateryna's initiative and has opened an account (UCU#721225) for additional donations.

Starting with this post, will begin featuring stories of the brave soldiers this initiative has already helped, as well as those we are currently collecting for - every dollar, donation, and good wish truly makes a difference.

Lots of photos of the injured soldiers we are helping can be found on our Facebook page in the album UCU Helps Ukraine.

Read the stories of some of our other heroes:

Visit your branch or contact the call centre at 1.800.461.0777 to make a donation.

Questions and inquiries about this initative can be directed to the UCU Helps Ukraine committee, Kateryna Litvinjuk (, Michael Zienchuk (, and Roman Mlynko (

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