Since I don't know many verbs, I tend to say "to do" a lot, and then gesture what I mean. "Mozhna delit" then I hold up my camera--"May I to do..photos?" Perhaps I need to adopt the strategy of covering the walls with sticky notes of vocabulary words.
The more I speak, and try and figure out what words are--for instance, the words for "students" and "classes" are cognates--the faster I will be able to have longer conversations and understand more. Also, the more I practice, the more I'll remember. (Now, whether those words are in Ukrainian or Russian, I couldn't tell you.)