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Easter might taste different for Ukrainians in Cleveland

Kabir Bhatia
Khiv-brand frozen cakes are at a favorite at Ukrainian Village grocery in Parma Heights. They could become hard to find as Easter approaches due to the conflict with Russia.

For Ukrainians in Northeast Ohio looking for the comforts of home, this spring is going to feel different due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Easter is on April 17 this year – and it's a week later for Ukrainians who follow the Orthodox observance of the day. The country is one of the world’s top wheat exporters, known as “The Breadbasket of Europe.” Mila Radeva works at Ukrainian Village grocery in Parma Heights. She says buckwheat – crucial for holiday treats this time of year – is getting hard to find.

“It’s very good for you. Before it was $3.99; now it’s $8.99.”

As Radeva surveys the store’s stock, she says sweets from the home country are also becoming hard to find, as is her favorite type of frozen cake.

“It’s more hazelnut inside, and the cream is so good, and this is probably the last one.”

Radeva adds that their store is collecting money for refugees and people affected by the war with Russia. That includes her cousin, who has escaped to Romania but is hoping to eventually come to America.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.