The political strife that has brought Ukraine to the brink of war is being felt at least in a small way in northeast Johnson County.
Mayor Volodymyr Harazd of Dolyna, Ukraine, Prairie Village’s sister city, had invited Prairie Village Mayor Ron Shaffer and member of the city’s Sister City Committee to make a trip to Ukraine in August for the city’s annual celebration. But given the turmoil that has engulfed the area, Shaffer said he’s not likely to make the trip and assumes that most of the others in the party are unlikely to as well.
“Given the current environment, it’s not something I can see doing,” he said Monday.
Dolyna is in the western part of the country, several hours away from the areas at the heart of the conflict: Kiev, in the north central part of the country, and the Crimean peninsula, on the southern edge along the Black Sea. Shaffer and a group of several other northeast Johnson Countians made a trip to Dolyna in 2009, and former Prairie Village Councilor Mike Kelly returned to the area in 2011. Shaffer said Dolyna, with its proximity to the border with Poland, has a distinctly European feel, in contrast to the eastern parts of the country that align culturally more closely with Russia.