Atlanta's Ukranian community grateful for aid package

Atlanta's Ukrainian community is celebrating following the passage of the $61 billion Ukraine aid package by the US, which was part of a $95 billion foreign aid package passed during a rare Saturday session.

For months, the package faced opposition in the US House from hardline Republicans. Olga Gorman, Director of the Helping Ukraine Fund, described the harrowing reality faced by her brother living in Kharkiv, Ukraine, near the front lines of the Russian invasion and frequent bombings.

Courtesy of Olga Gorman

"When we don't have ammunition to shoot down [Russian] missiles, which Russia sends every day, it's scary," Gorman explained. The Ukrainian military has been forced to ration ammunition and make difficult decisions about defending their territory.

Anna Letkeman, Public Information Officer for the Georgia branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, shared the stress her family endures in Zaporizhzhya, where they often seek refuge in corridors during Russian attacks.

Courtesy of Anna Letkeman

"The kids who see planes, they say, ‘oh, Russians are going to bomb.’ So my little cousin, he's four years old and he says ‘airplane boom.’ So that is the reality in which Ukrainian children are growing up," Letkeman expressed.

RELATED: Marjorie Taylor Greene still wants Speaker Mike Johnson out

Both Letkeman and Gorman organized a rally and march in February, urging the US government to pass the aid package. Their families were overjoyed upon hearing news of the bill's passage.

"I was exhilarated. I cried… my aunt called me and she was crying. She was so happy because the past six months have been horrible," Letkeman said.

The passage of the bill has renewed hope for their families. "I don't even know how to put it into words. I'm holding back tears because passing this bill is so's giving us hope and it's giving us a chance to continue living," Letkeman expressed.

"We are so grateful. Actually I was crying yesterday and I sent a message to all my American friends and said, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!’" Gorman added.

They believe the aid from the US will help deter further Russian aggression. "Putin will never stop. He will continue and it will be World War Three," Gorman warned.

The bill now moves to the US Senate, with President Biden signaling his intent to sign it upon reaching his desk.