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Local family fears for safety of loved ones in Lviv, after Russian missile attacks

Posted at 5:27 PM, Mar 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-18 21:06:11-04

PHOENIX — The death toll continues to rise as Russian strikes intensify, hitting Ukraine's western city of Lviv for the first time.

An act that leaves more destruction and fear behind.

One family in the Valley is left especially worried loved ones may never make it out of Lviv alive.

Halyna Shershun recently came to Arizona after fleeing the war and is living with her daughter, Olena Melnyk, in Phoenix.

They tell ABC15 their lives have been filled with frustration, anger, and constant fear since the war started.

“We have to stop the war as soon as possible,” Shershun told ABC15, in Ukrainian.

Shershun says it’s hard for her to sleep knowing her husband, a doctor, is still in Lviv treating people inside a hospital.

“It’s constant anxiety. I feel worried all the time. And I cry and worry all the time,” she added in Ukrainian.

Shershun says she still gets alerts on her phone, letting her know the area is under attack.

“People are receiving alerts on the phone and it's also sirens in the street alerting people to seek for shelter,” added Shershun’s daughter, Olena Melnyk.

Melnyk tells ABC15 this war has gotten out of hand.

“It’s getting longer and scary and more devastating,” she said. “I wish every siren that sounds in our city could sound in Kremlin,” added Shershun in Ukrainian.

As the war continues, both mother and daughter can’t help but feel helpless knowing loved ones may not make it out alive.

“There is no safe place in Ukraine, and even Poland, and close countries,” Melnyk told ABC15. “I definitely stand with Ukrainians request to close the sky,” said Melnyk.

At this time, they're hoping the U.S. will accept refugees, so that they can give relatives a safe-haven in the states.

As for Shershun, she's confident Ukraine will win the war, and dreams of the day she can be reunited with her husband back home.

“We will be back to our country. We don’t want to be refugees,” Shershun told ABC15, in Ukrainian.