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Valley family says loved ones are stuck in Ukrainian crossfire

Posted at 8:55 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 22:55:42-05

PHOENIX — Missile strikes, tanks, and gunfire continue to ravage Ukraine, as Russian troops continue moving in.

Konstantin Lukashevich and his wife Melissa tell ABC15 their relatives are stuck between the crossfire in Ukraine, and they're heartbroken they can't get them out.

“He’s talking about how the tanks are rolling by. He hears explosions,” said Konstantin when recalling what his brother told him.

“Basically, they don't know what’s going to happen,” added his wife, Melissa.

They say they’re losing sleep not knowing what tomorrow will bring for their family members living in a war zone.

“I guess tanks went through where his brother lives last night…” said Melissa.

She says this forced their family to take shelter in the bathroom.

“They fear for their lives and their children's lives, and I think they’re scared of what’s going to happen to their country,” she added.

Konstantin says Ukraine feels betrayed by Russia.

“We’ve always viewed Russia as like, they’re the big brother and for them to do that to us, you know, it’s kind of messed up,” he told ABC15.

Konstantin says his sister has heard that Russian troops are firing upon children's hospitals as well as other buildings.

Project C.U.R.E. is doing its part to send aid to Ukraine. It's an organization that ships medical supply donations to places in need across the world.

Project C.U.R.E.'s executive director, Ruth Sanchez, tells ABC15 they have a 40,000 square foot facility in Tempe where they store all of the donations.

They already have some lined up to help those needing medical supplies in Ukraine.

“It’s a 40-foot container that’s supposed to go to the Ukraine. We have the IV poles, wheelchairs, walkers, beds. We have a baby warmer, x-ray, examination table, syringes, the PPE, the gowns. Things that are needed in an everyday use in a medical facility,” Sanchez told ABC15.

She adds that even though this shipment has been delayed because of the war in Ukraine, they have a plan to get the medical supplies there.

“We’re hoping to get this shipment out in a couple of weeks, if not sooner,” she said.

Konstantin says he wishes they could do more to help.

“It scares me a lot. I really wish we could get them out of there,” said Konstantin.

He says he’s also worried about his brother, brother-in-law, and nephew who all fall under the required age to fight.

“The government has said anyone 18 to 60, any male has to take up arms to defend Ukraine,” said Konstantin.

“My heart breaks for them. I couldn’t imagine what they're going through,” added Melissa.

Konstantin and Melissa are now hoping their family can get to safety soon.

“We love them and we’re thinking about them,” said Melissa.

“I know no one really wants to leave, leave where they live, but it’s not safe. It’s not safe to stay,” Konstantin told ABC15.

The Lukashevich family started an online fundraiser to help get their family to safety.