This is why you see Ukrainian flags along Tomahawk Road in Prairie Village

Tony Short, Prairie Village resident

Tony Short, a Prairie Village resident, felt helpless when seeing the news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He knew he wanted to do something, and decided to remind people of what's going on by hanging Ukrainian flags along Tomahawk Road in Prairie Village. Photo credit Juliana Garcia.

Tony Short, a Prairie Village resident, is hanging flags along Tomahawk Road to show support for Ukraine.

Why it matters: The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started in late February, is ongoing. Reuters reports the civilian death toll reached nearly 1,200 as of March 27.

More than 4 million Ukrainians fled the country to seek refuge across Europe, mostly in Poland, Axios reports. United Nations aid agencies say availability of medical supplies, fuel and cash are decreasing in the country, Axios reports.

The effort: Short said the more he heard about the invasion of Ukraine, he felt helpless. Prairie Village’s sister city is Dolyna, Ukraine, and Short said this made his desire to help that much more urgent.

He decided to take action into his own hands and show support by hanging flags on oak trees along Tomahawk Road between Nall Avenue and 79th Street. Short said oak trees symbolize strength, and the idea is to keep the flags high up on the trees to deter vandals.

Short said one way people can help is by donating usable wheelchairs and walkers to The Ukrainian Club of Kansas City. The club will send the donated items to Ukrainian hospitals. Wheelchairs and walkers can be dropped off at Prairie Village City Hall at 7700 Mission Road.

Short’s goal: As a first-generation German immigrant, Short said, the goal of this act of support is to serve as a reminder for the city, neighbors and passersby about what’s going on overseas. He said he thinks it’s especially important for young people to pay attention to the invasion.

Key quote: “I hope that people when they look at this are going, ‘Ok, we’re going to take a stand, we’re going to let this leader know this is not acceptable,’” Short said. “I may not be able to do a lot, but it’s not acceptable. You can’t do this. That’s my goal, certainly, is to help people understand that part.”