Ukrainian Household in US Stays Near Kin Amid Fears

By JAE C. HONG, Related Press

LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Hanna Tverdokhlib has held her cellphone as if it have been glued to her hand because the Russian invasion of Ukraine final week.

When she is not watching information on it, she is texting her cousins ​​and shut buddies again dwelling or checking their Fb posts, hoping her cousins ​​are nonetheless secure within the bunker beneath their Kiev condo constructing, which is the place they shelter when the sirens go off.

Ready to listen to again from them is like ready for demise, stated Tverdokhlib, 37. “We’re asking them daily, texting, ‘How are you guys?’ They provide me a couple of phrases. It is tremendous arduous. “

She, her husband and their son left their dwelling in a small western metropolis of Ukraine in 2020 and moved to Lengthy Seashore, the place she stiches collectively earnings from her jobs as a nursing assistant, video curator and Lyft driver. Her husband works as a contract photographer.

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They’re amongst greater than 1 million folks within the US who report Ukrainian ancestry, based on the Census, with sizable populations in New York Metropolis, Chicago, Seattle, Sacramento and Los Angeles. Many are attempting to donate cash and provides to their family members in Ukraine, searching for recommendation from immigration attorneys about easy methods to get household right here and pleading for world leaders to intervene extra forcefully.

Russian forces pressed their conflict Thursday on Ukraine, seizing a strategic seaport and threatening to overhaul a significant vitality hub at the same time as the 2 sides met in Belarus and negotiated secure corridors to evacuate residents. The United Nations says 1 million folks have fled Ukraine because the Russian assault began.

From midway all over the world, although, Tverdokhlib feels helpless – and responsible for being secure in america – as she watches the conflict unfold, and offended at what she calls Ukraine’s “monster neighbor,” Russia. She tries to remain calm when her texts aren’t instantly returned. However the psychological toll and tears that comply with are bearing on her.

“We’re secure right here within the US however it’s not simpler. Your thoughts can simply explode, “she stated.

So she goes to rallies in Southern California to indicate her assist for Ukraine, handing out fliers with QR codes searching for donations. Her 7-year-old son, Volodymyr, attracts hearts and messages of assist on blue and yellow poster board, for the colours of Ukraine’s flag.

“Russia would not care about anybody,” he says.

On Tuesday evening, the household lit candles and positioned indicators across the Ukrainian genocide memorial in Grand Park, which marks the deaths of tens of millions from the Soviet-engineered famine in 1932-33.

“We attempt to pray. I do not know what can – what else can we do? ” Tverdokhlib stated.

She stated the hardest a part of all is listening to what her cousin’s kids ask: “Mother, would they kill us?”

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