Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Bay Area's Ukrainian Community Reacts After Russia Launches Attack

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“Stunned, angry and determined.”

That’s how many in the Bay Area’s Ukrainian community reacted Wednesday night to Russia’s invasion of their homeland.

“I am shaken. What is happening is unbelievable. This is going to change the world,” said Igor Markov with the Palo Alto-based Nova Ukraine.

Markov watched the footage of the Russian military invading his homeland and thought of his friends in different parts of the country.

Markov added that he is hopeful his uncle and aunt in Kyiv may be able to escape to the west. Those roads may be gridlocked, but the number of other escape options is dwindling by the hour.

“Train tickets are difficult to find and have been for a while. Air space, I believe, is closed now, especially with the missile strikes and the strikes at Ukraine airports. So, I hope they get to safety, but a large number of people will not have that option,” he said.

Nova Ukraine is collecting the basics – food, diapers, clothing – to ship back home.

“I have not talked to my parents yet or my grandparents, but I got messages from my friends in Kyiv and Odessa that there were airstrike,” said Mykyta Safronenko with San Francisco-based Ukraine America Coordinating Council.

Safronenko said the war will mean that every able-bodied man will be drafted into military service, and that includes Safronenko’s own father.

“My dad is 52, 53. So I don’t know," he said. "I just hope they can jump in the car and go to the western part of Ukraine."

Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a military attack against Ukraine, with explosions and air sirens heard across the country. Ian Cull reports.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom's Office of Emergency Services said in a tweet that it was "closely monitoring the developments in Ukraine."

At this time, there have been no reports of any threats against the state or the Bay Area related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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