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Where Passion and Dedication Meet

Our dedicated team of experienced professionals are at the heart of what we do, utilizing their unique skills and passion to move the work of our Non-Profit Organization forward. Without them, Stand By Ukraine Initiative would not be where it is today. Meet some of our team members below. Due to security reasons and the potential of some of our family members living in occupied territories, some team members may have elected to use digital AI generated pictures of themselves.

Dmitriy O.


Dmitriy was born in Mariupol, Ukraine. At age 12, he moved to Chicago with his mother and her parents.
After high school, Dmitriy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served for eight years, deploying to Iraq and to Afghanistan, earning awards which include the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Naval Academy Leadership Award, and ultimately achieving the rank of Staff Sergeant.
Dmitriy left the Marine Corps in 2014 to pursue higher education and now works in the legal practice innovation space at various law firms.

During the summer of 2022, Dmitriy left all of this behind to join the International Legion for the Defense of Ukraine. He spent three months in the Legion as a drone reconnaissance team leader before returning to the US at the behest of his family—his parents needed him to escort relatives back to the U.S. Since his return, Dmitriy has continued to support the defense of Ukraine through volunteer work to help refugees and by sending supplies to his comrades who remained on the front lines.


Pavel S.


Born in the Belarus, Pavel moved to the U.S. when he was a child. Ethnically Ukrainian, Pavel has most of his extended family living in Ukraine, including at least one who is serving on front lines, which is why the invasion is so personal to him. In addition to co-founding Stand by Ukraine Initiative, he has been running Makuyu Education Initiative, a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit focused on helping children escape the vicious cycle of poverty in Kenya, for over a decade.

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Lance D.


After Russia invaded Ukraine, Lance felt the need to get involved. He went to Ukraine to help the Ukrainians stave off the brutal invasion, despite having no personal connection to Ukraine. 

A US vet, Lance is currently in the process of starting his own private security firm. He is a firm believer in transparency and running a clean nonprofit.

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