As the war rages on between Russia and Ukraine, local Ukrainians in Erie are sharing their concerns for their loved ones and the future of their home country.
Local Ukrainians shared with us their feelings toward the recent events in Ukraine. One Ukrainian woman feared for her loved ones’ lives.
Ukraine continues to push out the Russian army since the February invasion. Vladimir Putin threatened Ukraine with nuclear weapons, and the recent referendums gave him the authority to pronounce four Ukrainian territories as part of Russia.
“It’s really, really terrifying. The fact that the referendums were not legitimate, and that they were basically forced to vote a certain way is really, really upsetting. The propaganda over there is disgusting, and it’s really, really sad,” said Ruth Ribalko, Erie for Ukraine.
Ribalko was fearful for her loved ones in Ukraine who cannot tell her anything that is happening.
“They can’t mention anything politically, they can’t mention anything about the war in fear of losing their lives, so it’s just, ‘are you okay,’ and things like that,” Ribalko added.
While the war continues halfway around the world, the COO of Logistics Plus said any type of support is needed from the Erie community.
“The US and European support for Ukraine is what is allowing Ukraine to drive this counter-offensive. It’s showing the rest of the world that another nuclear power cannot just go in and take over a sovereign nation,” said Yuri Ostapyak, COO of Logistics Plus.
With two Logistics Plus offices in Ukraine, the COO said they are in constant communications with their employees.
“Everyone is kind of on the edge, even though most of the people don’t think that Russia is at a point of using nuclear weapons at this very moment, but that threat is real. It exists and everyone is scared but at the same time, Ukraine will not stop. They’re counter-offensive. They’re trying to take their land back,” Ostapyak added.
The Erie for Ukraine organizer said Russia’s propaganda is discouraging for Ukrainians because any win Ukraine has, words are twisted and switched around.