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Looking to rebuild, Ukrainian mayor visits Noblesville hospital

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Urkainian mayor with an eye toward rebuilding his city toured a Hamilton County hospital’s cancer unit Friday, the Noblesville city government says.

Emily Gaylord, the communications director for the Noblesville mayor, said the visit to Riverview Hospital by Serihiy Sukhomlyn, the mayor of Zyhtomyr, Ukraine, was not announced in advance for security reasons. Sukhomlyn only visited the hospital and no other places in the city, Gaylord said.

Zyhtomyr is about half between the borders with Belarus and Moldova in the western Urkaine. Its 2021 population was more than 263,000.

The Urkainian city has not escaped the war with Russia. Photos from Getty Images show rubble left in Zyhtomyr when a bomb on June 7 damaged a school and other buildings. Photos taken in February show roads leading to the city littered with destroyed and burned Russian tanks and other military equipment.

Noblesville hopes to add Zyhtomyr as a Sister City. The Washington, D.C.-based Sister Cities International matches U.S. communities with foreign entities to foster broad-based, long-term partnerships.

Zyhtomyr would be part of the first four-party Sister City partnership including the Noblesville city government, the Mission to Ukraine organization, the Ukrainian Society of Indiana, and the International Center of Indianapolis. The Sister City agreement could be formalized sometime in 2023, Gaylord says.