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EXCLUSIVE: ‘It’s pretty terrifying.’ East Hampton pastry chef gives firsthand account from Ukraine

Kristofer Kalas is near the capital of Kyiv as Russian forces advance on the city.

News 12 Staff

Mar 15, 2022, 4:43 PM

Updated 831 days ago

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A 31-year-old man who operates a bakery in East Hampton called Hello, Oma is in Ukraine defending a country he calls his second home.
Kristofer Kalas is near the capital of Kyiv as Russian forces advance on the city.
Kalas is part of a small group of international volunteers helping deliver food and medical supplies, caring for the wounded and evacuating residents amid the fighting and bloodshed.
“In most day to day, there's constant air raids, sirens, artillery shells, live gunfire as we get closer to the conflict zones. Today there was live gunfire, some directed at us. It's pretty terrifying, but you try to keep your head down and just do your job,” says Kalas.
Kalas says the decision to fight was one that he and his wife made together. His wife and child are currently in Portugal.
The couple made this dangerous decision because they said they would like to have a Ukraine to return to and a place for their daughter who's a Ukrainian citizen, to grow up in. 
When asked if he is afraid he will not make it out, he says ‘yes, every day.’
Sophie Knight knows Kristofer Kalas from his East Hampton shop.
“It doesn’t surprise me that he would go over there, he’s an incredible person. He has such a world compass, and his ability to give is amazing,” says Knight.


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