Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Bay Area Residents Still Struggling to Keep Contact With Loved Ones in Ukraine

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On this fifth day of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, many in the Bay Area are increasingly struggling to keep in contact with their loved ones.

As Ukrainians push for Russian President Vladimir Putin to end the invasion, lots of Russians are also calling for peace.

In the Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv, residents awoke to find more residential buildings pockmarked with the scars of explosions and lots of burned-out military vehicles.

Olena Polovynkina said her family there has been sheltering in their apartment since the start of the invasion.

“Trying to get food in the stores has been difficult,” said Olena Polovynkina. “Today is the first day they actually came out in the street, to go out, they weren't allowed to go out in the day.”

As they now begin storing water to prepare for a drawn-out conflict, they're also trying to keep in contact with friends or other relatives who live in Russia to let them know what's really happening instead of what they're seeing on Russian television.        

“One of the things we're trying to fight off is the informational war. It's been going on for a while and Putin's been doing that for a decade,” said Polovynkina.

In Russia Monday, ordinary residents are seeing the first effects of international economic sanctions.

Russian-born writer and Bay Area resident Anastasia Edel has family in Ukraine who said they're shocked that the invasion continues.

Her family living in Russia have similar reactions.

“There is also shock, but there is also fear and despair and shame, because how can you justify now being Russian,” said Edel. “The whole world is watching.”

She's not surprised to see the Russian military having a difficult time going to battle against Ukrainians.

She said they share lots of culture and history so it's not easy to attack someone who may be familiar.  And the Ukrainians are not giving up.      

“How Ukrainians are meeting this aggression, I think we're witnessing incredible courage, on behalf of the Ukrainian people who rose up against an enemy that outnumbers and outguns them,” said Edel.

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