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  • Writer's pictureHawai'i House Democrats


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – Representatives John M. Mizuno and Adrian K. Tam today presented a Certificate of Recognition to Vladyslav "Vlad" Zhaivoronok, honoring the former Ukrainian Prisoner of War's steadfast commitment to freedom and self-governance as he fought valiantly to defend Ukraine from the Russian invasion. Attendees of the ceremony included Representative Terez Amato, Representative Elle Cochran, and members of Hawaiʻi's Ukrainian community.

On May 15, 2022, Vlad Zhaivoronok was hit by an anti-tank missile and rushed to a medical bunker with severe wounds to his right eye and underwent a leg amputation. Shortly after, he was captured by Russian forces and tortured before eventually being released in a prisoner exchange with Russia.

"There are times in life where we witness the most heroic story of a person and their country willing to sacrifice everything to ensure freedom, self-government and safety for their families," said Representative John M. Mizuno (D-29 Kamehameha Heights, Kalihi Valley, portion of Kalihi). "Today we recognize Mr. Zhaivoronok for his tremendous courage, heroism, and sacrifice fighting for his country to save, protect, and defend democracy for Ukraine and the World. Hawaiʻi stands in solidarity with Mr. Zhaivoronok and Ukraine."

Representative Mizuno is a steadfast advocate of the Ukrainian community and recently authored HR19 & HCR16 to designate February 24, 2023 as Remember Ukraine Day in Hawaiʻi.

"Vlad's experience reflects the bravery, sacrifice, and tenacity of the Ukrainian community," said Representative Adrian K. Tam (D-24 Waikīkī). "Hawaiʻi remains an ally for Ukraine."

Vlad is currently traveling with the group 'Hawaiʻi Stands with Ukraine' to share his story of hope and resilience with the world.


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