(NewsNation) – When war broke out in their country, Ukrainian cafe owners went from making American-style dishes like pizza and burgers to baking bread for Ukrainian troops and citizens in need. .
Alina Mishkur’s parents own the cafe, and she quit her job as a lawyer to help them when a “crazy man”, as she calls Russian President Vladimir Putin, attacked Ukraine.
“Every day, from morning to night, we bake bread,” she said. “We do it for our defenders, we [a] have a local defense division…. and we also do it for the population.
Those who can pay do so, and for those who cannot, Mishkur and his parents give them the bread for free.
“[It’s] our role in this crazy war,” she said.
For Ukrainians, Mishkur said, bread is not just food.
“Bread is a symbol of life,” she said.
To boost the morale of the soldiers, they prepare dishes and even cookies in the national colors of Ukraine, blue and yellow.
During the early days of the Russian-Ukrainian war, it was difficult to access certain ingredients. But people started bringing the products that the cafe didn’t have.
“It shows how supported we are these days,” Mishkur said. Even after getting the ingredients they needed, people kept bringing supplies from the cafe, she added.
“We are very united now,” Mishkur said. “And so we support each other as much as we can, with everything we have.”
Mishkur knows that the situation in Ukraine is dangerous. For now, however, she and her family have decided to stay.
“We believe in our country, we believe in our people,” she said. “We are sure of the return, we do not doubt it. Because we lived on our lands and we did not intervene anywhere. And unfortunately, one day, our lives totally changed.
With more than 100 children killed in the conflict and millions who have left the country, Mishkur urged Americans to ask their government to help Ukraine more.
“We will stay here and we will continue to support our soldiers with our bread, the least we can do,” Mishkur said. “Maybe there will be more help [necessary] and we will provide it. But we also ask you to continue to support us and to continue to push your governments to provide more aid.