Houstonians worried about family, friends in Ukraine

Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv is under attack as Russian forces are closing in. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that Russian forces will storm the capital city in the early hours Saturday morning local time.

Ukraine invasion: What to know as Russian forces head toward Kyiv

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry is warning people that Russians are disguising themselves as members of Ukraine's armed forces.

We spoke to a Houstonian, who connected us with one of her close friends in Kyiv bracing for the worst.

"My situation in my country in my town is very, very bad. Very bad," said Olesya Vashchuck who spoke to us from her home in Kyiv.

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Even during our interview, she thought she heard the warnings.

"When I hear the sirens, I run to the bomb shelter and back," she said. "One hour, two hours, then come back at home. Now, I am at home and wait."


It’s the routine for many in Kyiv.

6,000 miles away in Houston, Oksana Stevenson has been up all night worrying and calling family and friends in the war zone. Our zoom was the first time since the attack that she actually saw her.

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Olesya is a single mother and leader in her community. She tells us that residents are gathering in groups to figure out their next steps. There is a lot of confusion.

"Don’t understand why. Now and then, what is coming. We think about future. Russia and Belarus coming into our home. Our territory. What to do?"


All they say they can do is pray and wait.

"We believe in our country, we believe in our people," she said.

In a video message to Ukrainians, President Zelenskyy warned residents to make preparations and be ready for what they will face.