As the war between Israel and Hamas continues, the eyes of practically everyone in the United States have turned to the Middle East.
WJET spoke to a Ukrainian refugee who said support for his country appears to be fading as the fighting continues in the Middle East.
Ukraine remains under constant attack by Russia. Ukrainian refugee Sergey Pantonenko said his country is facing serious problems — like finding medical care and food.
Through an interpreter, he said he fears Ukrainians are starting to be forgotten.
“My parents and my sister are still in Ukraine and are still in a warzone area. Every day, you hear the bombings and there is a serious nervousness that you wake up to every day,” said Sergey Pantonenko, Ukrainian refugee.
Ever since fighting broke out in the Middle East, Pantonenko said it seems like all eyes have been on that war.
“So Ukrainians were actually very understanding of the war in Israel because we’re going through our own war…And we feel their pain and we understand it better than anyone else,” he added.
Pantonenko went on to say it’s something that has drawn away attention from Russia’s destruction in Ukraine.
“We do see a lot of support but unfortunately there is less. People get tired and they get tired of hearing the same, tragic news,” Pantonenko said.
Every month, members of the Grace Slavic Pentecostal Church donate food and money to the reconstruction of Ukraine where a pastor they work with is building homes in communities that have been decimated.
Pantonenko has been in Erie for just over a year now but said he hasn’t forgotten what his friends and family are suffering through.
“Yes, the war in Israel is taking attention away from the war in Ukraine. The attention of the world, it changes frequently and it did change to every new conflict that comes forward. Unfortunately, this was the one…We’re kind of worrying and we’re continuing to fight for Ukraine and we’re asking that you don’t forget about Ukraine,” Pantonenko said.