Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Bay Area's Ukrainian, Russian Communities Join Forces for Benefit Concert

NBC Universal, Inc.

Bay Area Russians and Ukrainians joined forces for a benefit concert in Campbell Sunday night.

The music brought comfort to a South Bay community that has been devastated by the conflict in Ukraine.

“I think art is the key to people’s souls,” said Vladimir Begun, a concert organizer.

Begun organized the concert at the Starbright Theater in Campbell. He told NBC Bay Area Sunday that he wanted to give Bay Area Russians and Ukrainians a reason to unite.

“We want to make sure connections are not broken,” Begun said.

Concord resident Vladimir Kroz was born in Russia and lived in Ukraine half his life. He said that he’s deeply concerned about his elderly aunt in Ukraine, especially after a Russian military strike hit a civilian evacuation point Sunday.

“She was bombed twice and she is almost 90 years old. I would try to get her out but I can’t. I am nervous about her,” Kroz said.

About 150 people in the audience Sunday listened and reflected while several musicians performed. While they were each unique, they sang with one voice and one goal.

“What connects us now is we are all against the war and want to help the Ukrainian people,” said Natalia Poliektova.

Proceeds from Sunday’s sold out show will go to Nova Ukraine to help refugees leave Ukraine and provide medical supplies.

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