Ukrainians in Metro Detroit share concern, solidarity with relatives overseas under Russian attack

Ukrainian citizen Khrystyna Rybachok tells us she’s about 20 minutes from Kyiv’s airport.

"Of course we are very scared," she said. "I woke up at 5 a.m. from shellings, I heard shellings, I thought it was just a dream.

"People in Ukraine are trying to keep calm, and trying to be very rational in their actions. Right now, I see a lot of solidarity in the Ukranian cities."

There has been a mass exodus of people from Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

"Many people are trying to leave Kyiv, which is hardly possible because of the heavy traffic," Rybachok said. "The military vehicles are moving as well."

In Michigan at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Warren, Petrusha has been in contact with her family in Ukraine.

"My one cousin in Kyiv they’re hunkered down in a cellar," Vera Petrusha said. "I asked how we can help and she said, she doesn't know, because ATMs are out of money, food stores.  Basically, her response is, they’re still breathing."

Petrusha runs a nonprofit in the country focused on orphans. She and her son who she adopted from Ukraine, talk every day about the unfolding crisis.

"Over the years Ukraine has actually implemented a lot of programs to help children in foster care," she said. "I am afraid those programs will go backward with this invasion. There will be a lot of children with their parents being lost to war."

"It’s the third decade of the 21st century," said Congressman Andy Levin (D-Michigan). "It's completely unacceptable to overrun, or other nonsense Vladimir Putin is spouting."

Levin is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Ukraine is not a member of NATO, but some have still postulated the US could intervene.

FOX 2: "The president has made it clear that he’ll every inch of NATO territory, Do you see him intervening?"

"No, I think that the president has been very clear that we will honor our Article 5 commitments under NATO," Levin said. "Which is, that we will defend each other as if it were our own territory. Ukraine is not part of NATO and we really need to avoid a third World War."

If you would like to help by donating to Ukrainian relief efforts CLICK HERE.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-12th District) released the following statement on the Russian attack of Ukraine:

"My heart is heavy today as we witness the deaths of innocent Ukrainians and the insurmountable damage to their homes and communities. President Putin has no right to launch into a premeditated war that will kill thousands, disrupt the global economy, and set a dangerous precedent. Russia’s actions are not only an attack on innocent people but on global peace and security – we must work together with international partners to ensure an immediate, strong, and coordinated response. I stand with President Biden as well as our NATO and European allies to hold Russia accountable for this senseless invasion and deadly violence." 

Vera Petrusha.

Vera Petrusha,