Ukrainian-Americans in the Bay Area are watching closely as the situation overseas develops.
Many people at Saint Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in San Francisco gathered Sunday morning for prayer as they follow developments that suggest Russia is closer to an invasion of Ukraine.
"I have my father, mother and actually all my family is in Kiev, Ukraine. So yeah..." said Vitalii Fokin of San Jose.
Residents like Fokin have friends and family abroad and are unsure what the future holds.
I was expecting something like this for a long time," said San Francisco resident Tatiana Fedyk. "But there probably will be a solution because humanity comes to the edge and stops, typically. I believe in that."
At a rally in San Francisco Sunday, Nick Vilogorosky shared his concerns about the safety of his family in Ukraine.
“I have a family in Ukraine. And most of us have family in Ukraine and Putin is putting them at risk,” he said.
Kathryn Stoner, the Mosbacher Director of the Center On Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford, said that she believes a Russian attack on Ukraine is inevitable.
“There has been an uptick in shelling from rebels and its done to create a sense of panic and crisis. It’s likely a pretext Putin will use to send in more Russian troops,” she said.
Stoner added there may be a reason behind Russia escalating military efforts this week.
“It is the day of fatherland tomorrow, which is a Russian nationalist holiday," she said. "Putin has repeatedly said that the Ukrainians committed genocide against Russian speaking people, which of course is not true. So it is a way to heighten Russian nationalism and get more support for an invasion."