Sonoma Shows Support for Ukraine


As the war with Ukraine and Russia escalates, more Sonoma residents are left feeling helpless seeing countless civilian lives being taken away. But what many Sonomans don’t know is that the small town shares a sister city with Ukraine called Kaniv. 


The Sonoma Sister Cities Association (SSCA) was founded in 1975. Sonoma County has three sister cities in Ukraine, making it the only place in the United States with that many connections to the Eastern European country. (Sonoma County Gazette).  


Santa Rosa has an agreement with Cherkasy, which began in 1989 (Sonoma County Gazette), and additionally, Sebastopol has been connected with Chyhyryn since 1993. The program is sponsored by Sebastopol World Friends, and has conducted several cultural exchanges with individuals from both cities. 


The longest connection with Ukraine is the sister city Sonoma has with the city of Kaniv. It began in 1987, and since then there have been countless delegation visits, gifts given, and cultural visits from citizens of both cities. 


On March 17th, 2022 the SSCA hosted an event at the Sonoma Plaza welcoming the Ukraine Consul General, Dmytro Kushneruk. Kushneruk was handed a bouquet of sunflowers as a symbol of solidarity and was surrounded by hundreds of Sonoma residents who came to show their support. 


The Sister Cities International Facebook page shared that in 1993, Sonoma was able to send its sister city thousands of pairs of glasses, distributing them to over 2,500 Ukrainians in under one week. 


As mentioned by The Press Democrat, $13,000 has been raised so far for Kaniv, and as the war rages on, more funds will be needed to rebuild infrastructure and ensure that Ukrainians have the resources they need in order to protect their families.