Hiawatha business worries for coworkers in Ukraine
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -A business in Hiawatha has nearly 50 employees in Ukraine. That’s the majority of workers at Hivecell which employs 65.
Hivecell is a tech company that creates platforms for businesses. The company is headquartered in New York, but its product is manufactured in Iowa and Ukraine.
”These are my friends, these are family, these are people that had no decision in any of that,” explained Paul Lyman, Co-Founder and President of Hivecell.
47 Hivecell employees live in Ukraine.
”We had about 2/3 in Lviv and then another 1/3 in Kyiv and scattered in a couple other places,” Lyman said.
Most Hivecell employees have made their way into Lviv, which Lyman says is considered safe despite occasional air strikes.
”They’re desperate to get air cover,” he told TV9.
There is a real fear for those in Ukraine to move about. Hivecell workers report Russian troops have been targeting civilians trying to pass through green zones.
”They know Russian soldiers have been stopping cars and shooting whole families as they’re trying to get out through the green zone so they don’t trust any of that,” Lyman told us.
But staying in place has been dangerous for some in Ukraine too.
”They’ve sent much video over of Russians bombing apartment buildings,” said Lyman.
Lead software architect Alec Marin is in regular contact with his friends.
”One of our guys is just south of Kharkiv and he’s been one of my best friends and so I’ve been getting daily updates about you know all the shelling,” Marin explained.
He says people in Ukraine are helping how they’re able whether it be joining the fight, or volunteering to aid in some way.
”I can’t even believe they’re as strong as they are, to stand up and fight for their home like they are, it’s awe-inspiring,” said Marin.
Hivecell lets those in Ukraine, work when they’re able. They say some see it as a much needed break from their current reality.
”Our rule right now is you know family first, country first and then we’ll get back to work,” said Lyman.
The company is sharing resources for those who wish to help people in Ukraine:
Ukraine Defense/Military Aid:
Come Back Alive: https://www.comebackalive.in.ua/
UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency): https://give.unrefugees.org/220224ukr_genemr_d_4720/
International Committee of the Red Cross: https://www.icrc.org/en/support-us
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: https://www.ifrc.org/emergency/ukraine-and-impacted-countries
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