March 4, 2022
Dear SimulTrans Team:
Like most of the world, we at SimulTrans have been witnessing the tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, from afar through our TVs and laptops. I am sure that you, too, are deeply troubled by Putin’s war in Ukraine.
My Special Relationship with Ukraine
Unlike most of the world, I have a special relationship to the plight of Ukrainians as:
- I’m half Ukrainian and my dad’s mother language was Ukrainian (which he used daily at work, as a “country attorney” for his community).
- I grew up surrounded by Ukrainian friends and family, eating Ukrainian perogies, attending Ukrainian dance performances, etc.
- My Ukrainian grandparents were immigrants and married within their ethnic group (unlike my melting-pot parents, who married outside their ethnicity and religion).
- I grew up outside the “iron city” of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, famous for its steel mills and transportation industries like railroads and bridges, that attracted mostly Slavic and other uneducated, hardworking immigrants, seeking a better life.
- Like many immigrants, my Ukrainian grandparents could not read or write, but my dad and his siblings excelled academically, graduating at the top of their classes while working in the local mills to support their families.
- You can read more about my dad through his obituary.
- Before the pandemic, my family and I returned to my grandparents’ birthplace, in the Carpathian mountains (it’s a poor and desolate area – our guide said, “Your grandparents were smart to get out as life here was and remains tough”).
- To get better guidance about how we can help the Ukrainian people now, I am in contact with old Ukrainian neighborhood friends, who worked in the U.S. State Department.
- Last month they were in Lviv, Ukraine, now they are in Warsaw, Poland; they know the situation best and have connected us to relevant aid organizations.
More than Talk
SimulTrans will support Ukraine in any way possible. This is the time to act and not sit on the sidelines. In this regard, SimulTrans will take the following actions:
- Provide free translation services that help the Ukrainian people. For example, we won’t charge a customer for the Ukrainian translation of materials for an emergency surgery device, being used in Ukraine.
- Work directly with Ukrainian translators in Ukraine, Poland, the United States, and other countries, instead of agencies based in Russia, following EU/US sanctions.
- Donate $10,000 to organizations helping Ukrainian refugees, likely in Germany.
- Match your individual donations that help provide for Ukraine-related relief.
We Condemn Putin, Not the Russian People
We know that most people of all nationalities are good people. Russians are good people, just like the Ukrainians, Irish, Japanese, Turkish, Brazilians, or any nationality. People are people, fundamentally good and peace-loving, with simple wishes like a better life and future.
Sadly, it’s mostly our governments who can get out of control on a larger scale, especially in autocratic countries where media are censored and soldiers carry out catastrophic decisions like wars.
We will use our services also to provide Russian communication services if this effort helps inform the Russian people. SimulTrans’ mission is to make the world a better place through effective communication.
If you have suggestions to help us help Ukraine, please contact me directly. I will work with the relevant people to get things done and make a difference. We all need to help in our individual and collective ways, and we can use SimulTrans as a platform to help others.
Founder and CEO, SimulTrans, LLC.