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Valley families worry about loved ones in Ukraine as violence escalates

Posted at 7:07 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 22:07:38-04

PHOENIX — Violence continues escalating in eastern Europe, as the death toll continues to climb. Valley families are now worried, more than ever, about those left behind in Ukraine.

Loved ones telling them bombs, gunfire, and death is what the country is surrounded with, as the war continues.

“It’s getting worse,” said Svitlana Jelden.

Svitlana Jelden is worried about her sister and godmother, who are still in Ukraine.

“We’re just waiting for that phone call and like…are they still alive? What if not?” she added.

When they spoke last, loved ones told her many cities are leveled.

Though that’s not all.

“They say they’re destroying meal factories, destroying places where they are making bread,” Svitlana told ABC15.

Melissa Lukashevich and her husband Konstantin tell ABC15 their family is just trying to stay alive in the war-torn region.

“First we worry about them being killed from bombs or shooting or whatever, and now we have to worry about them not having food and water to survive,” said Lukashevich.

She says loved ones tell her and her husband that Russian troops aren’t just bombing structures.

“There was a bombing close to Poland to stop resources from coming in. They’re not safe anywhere,” Lukashevich told ABC15.

Her nephew told them Russian and Ukrainian looters have also gotten more aggressive.

“I wish they would have got out when it first started,” she added.

As violence escalates in Ukraine, those living there are now asking for one thing:

“Close the sky,” said Jelden.

“So, they can’t bomb some of those places. You know, they can’t take away our food supplies,” added Lukashevich.

While Jelden says there is a lot of uncertainty, she is sure about two things:

Ukraine will never forgive Russia and:

“We will win this war because we have no choice. Glory to Ukraine,” Jelden told ABC15.

Lukashevich and her husband are planning on making the trip to Poland to help get their family and other refugees to safety.

They have started an online fundraiser to cover expenses including travel, shelter for themselves and refugees, and food to give those fleeing the war.