At the Crossroads of Europe, Asia and the Middle East

Photo credit: Michel Behar

On Ukraine and Prayers for Peace

Ukrainian pride is on display in Kiev. Photo credit: Jered Gorman
Ukrainian pride is on display in Kyiv. Photo credit: Jered Gorman

MIR was founded in 1986 during the latter years of the USSR, to help foster mutual understanding between the peoples of the Soviet Union and the United States and Canada through travel. We believed then and believe now that travel unites. Travel gives perspective. Travel humanizes. Travel is peace. It is of course no coincidence that MIR is also the word for peace in both Russian and Ukrainian. For over 35 years that word, and the meaning behind it, has been integral to what we do, guiding where we travel, how we travel, and most of all why we travel.

The scenes of devastation and desperation unfolding in Ukraine are unimaginable and excruciating to watch. We are outraged and heartbroken by the senseless and unprovoked Russian government aggression against Ukraine. Ukraine has been a key MIR destination since the beginning, and we have friends, colleagues, and family there. In Seattle, watching from afar, we have all shed a lot of tears. It is impossible not to become emotional when imagining the terror and calamity thrust upon those dear people. We are all praying for peace in Ukraine, and for the safety and well-being of both those we cherish and the Ukrainian people as a whole. We ask that you do the same.

In the face of conflict and tragedy, our overarching mission will remain unchanged. Travel unites. Travel can be a force for good. Travel is peace. We’ll all be anxiously awaiting the day when we can return to Ukraine. In the meantime, we will continue to safely travel as we have for decades, through times of conflict, through a pandemic, and through many good times as well–though not to Russia in 2022.

How can you help? Give to the many professional organizations helping to bring aid to Ukrainians amid the invasion that has caused a humanitarian crisis. International Rescue CommitteeThe International Committee of the Red CrossSave the ChildrenThe UN Refugee Agency, World Central Kitchen, Direct Relief, Mercy Corps the United Nations World Food Program, Doctors without Borders and World Monuments Fund’s (WMF) Ukraine Heritage Response Fund are just a few of the organizations doing essential work in this time of great need.

If you have any questions about potential impacts on travel (whether booked or tentative), please feel free to reach out and we will do our best to advise you.

PUBLISHED: February 25, 2022

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