Russian, Ukrainian NYPD officers launch supply drive for war-torn country

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A group of NYPD officers of Russian and Ukrainian descent are coming together to show of support for the people of Ukraine amid Russia's deadly invasion.

The officers are launching a city-wide campaign to a help Ukrainians who are scrambling to escape the unprovoked war in their country.

"We are very diverse, and we've always been united," Russian American Officers Association President Artem Kuzmin said. "And right now, we are more united than ever."

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The Russian American Officers Association boasts roughly 450 members, individuals who immigrated to the United States from various post-Soviet republics. Now, the organization is spearheading a humanitarian effort to get medical supplies into Ukraine.

"We are against any type of conflict," Kuzmin said. "It's extremely difficult to see people that we love suffer."

The list of items requested is limited and very specific, asking only for first aid kits, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, bandages, gauze and tourniquets.

"We want to make sure that they're all limited to these items at this time," Association Vice President Stanislav Zubyk said. "We want to stress that we cannot collect anything that is perishable, anything that is expired or expiring in the next six months."

Donation boxes have been placed at all 77 NYPD precincts across all five boroughs.

"Including myself, and (Zubyk), we have families in Ukraine," Kuzmin said. "My wife was born in Ukraine and her family is there right now, and we're looking for nothing else but to help them."

The donation drive is growing in scope after an overwhelming number of members of the fraternal organization -- a quarter to a third of whom are from Ukraine -- asked how they could help.

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"We need to focus on doing what we can here," Zubyk said. "We need to focus on collecting these items and getting them out there."

Donations will be collected until March 11, and they will then be sorted then shipped to Poland to be physically driven across the border to deliver into the war zone.

"We're not standing for the the politics," Kuzmin said. "We're standing for the people of Ukraine."

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