Mr. President: “We Need to Support the Ukrainian People”

Tonight is the State of the Union. The Chair of the Department of Radiology at UConn Health and President of the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA) has a message for the President.

Dr. Leo Wolansky, chair of the UConn Health Department of Radiology (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health photo)

Tonight is the State of the Union address of the U.S. President to America.

UConn Health’s Chair of the Department of Radiology, Dr. Leo Wolansky, who is also President of the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA), is drawing attention to the critical humanitarian needs of the people of Ukraine.

“There is a tremendous crisis in Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion. This has far reaching health and humanitarian impact as well as political and economic impact,” says Wolansky. “We need to support the Ukrainian people in their heroic struggle.”

As part of his UMANA leadership position he sent this letter to President Biden and the Congressional leadership:

To the President and Congressional leadership of the United States:

Dear Mr. President and US Congressional leadership,

The Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA) is a non-partisan professional organization, which includes hundreds of members from across the American political spectrum. A major portion of our mission concerns healthcare to Ukrainians throughout the world. 

In this regard, we cannot ignore the obvious health and humanitarian crisis currently faced by Ukraine. In 1991, Ukraine held a referendum on independence. An overwhelming 92% of citizens voted for independence! At that time Ukraine had the third largest nuclear arsenal in the world. Over the course of many months, the US government pressured Ukraine to surrender its nuclear arsenal in the name of world peace. Ukraine did so, in exchange for security guarantees. The spirit of this agreement was best summarized in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994, “Taking into account the commitment of Ukraine to eliminate all nuclear weapons from its territory within a specified period of time…The United States of America, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, reaffirm their commitment to Ukraine, in accordance with the principles of the CSCE Final Act, to respect the Independence and Sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine.” 

As the world leader of democracy and human rights, we hope that the United States will, indeed “reaffirm” its commitment. Ukraine needs the US to act with strength and resolve to support this new democracy, to do everything within its power to prevent catastrophic loss of life and a refugee crisis of massive proportions.  Furthermore, the Russian president has spoken for years about reconstituting the former Soviet Union. The Baltic nations could easily be next. While the temptation to look away is strong, we must courageously face the reality of this moment, and recognize that this barbarous act of war is a threat to all of us and an affront to global peace and democracy.   


Leo Wolansky, MD, UMANA President 

Luke Tomycz, MD, UMANA Vice-President 

Marta Lopatynsky, MD, UMANA President-elect

Lydia Wozny, RPh, UMANA Secretary

Roman Kozyckyj, MD, UMANA Treasurer


According to Wolansky if you wish to show your humanitarian support of the Ukrainian people at this critical time, please visit today or Either organization he says will get your donation to the Ukrainian people.