Erie’s Ukrainian community is feeling the ongoing effects of the war in their home country.

Some of them shared their feelings and fears with us. They all have families still in the war-torn area and still see much more violence and struggle in the future.

“The refugees have been struggling and I’m pretty sure everybody there is praying and hoping this war ends soon,” said Ruth Ribalko, Erie For Ukraine campaign manager.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues half a world away, here in Erie, emotions are still high, dealing with fear and confusion.

“Everybody that’s here honestly didn’t expect to come here. A lot of the refugees that are here now, are watching the new and wondering when they can come back home. The choice they made to come here was very difficult,” said Ribalko.

Erie for Ukraine is focusing on the hospitals in the war-torn areas.

“Because they are still taking a really bad hit. They are not getting fed with enough supplies. So we are working on getting hospital supplies over there and monetary donations so that countries near by can ship those faster that we can,” Ribalko added.

Others said the familes are feeling a lot of pain.

“A lot of the relatives and friends are still out there so we know that a lot of people are in great need. Also we are trying to get as many people here as we can here through United for Ukraine program that our government created,” said Ilya Ribyshchuk, Grace Slavic Pentecostal Church.

Both said all the refugees they work with are very grateful for the help from the Erie community.