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Beyond J podcast: Escaping the War in Ukraine

Olya LeBaron (pictured) and her friend Blake Westman both saw the devastation in war-torn Ukraine firsthand. They tell their stories in the latest Beyond J podcast. (Sacramento State/Phillip Altstatt)

Olya LeBaron learned firsthand of the invasion from friends and family in her homeland of Ukraine and watched in disbelief as events unfolded from her home in Sacramento. Meanwhile, Blake Westman woke to the sounds of explosions, gunfire, and air raids after a night out with friends during a recent visit to Ukraine.

While LeBaron’s journey to Ukraine to aid refugees and Westman’s escape from Kyiv to Poland are very different circumstances, their stories underscore the incredible humanitarian efforts amid devastating circumstances.

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About Phillip Altstatt

Phillip Altstatt is a Sac State alum and host of the Beyond J podcast. Phillip has his B.A. and M.A. in studio art and his work has been featured in the Sac State Magazine and the SACRAMENTO mural on the campus at Sac State.

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