‘Prayers are for you’: Local Ukrainian man worries about his family as Russia moves into his home country

SPOKANE, Wash.– Some Ukrainian families who call the Inland Northwest home have to watch what’s happening to their loved ones from thousands of miles away. The only way they’re able to get ahold of them is through social media.

Sergey Topik has been watching everything unfold from Spokane since Wednesday night. He said he feels helpless because all he can do is pray and hope the attack in his home country stops. He said the situation has brought him a lot of anger and depression.

Topik said he’s been talking to his family back in Ukraine. His niece sent him several videos on social media that show what she said are jets launching missiles. The videos also show tanks rolling through Ukraine.

“My niece — she said they just don’t know what to do. A lot of people are trying to flee. They’re trying to flee to Poland,” Topik said.

His family is in a bunker trying to figure out what their next move is.

Topik’s niece told him people are lining up waiting for gas to get out of the areas being hit. He said he’s not only worried about his family hunkering down but also the people on the frontlines. He has two cousins in the Ukrainian military who are fighting right now.

“They’re all bunkering down and I have family members in the military that are fighting right now. They’ve been sending me videos about missiles getting blown up around them,” Topik said.

While he’s worried about his family, he’s also proud of his people for fighting.

“We are on your side, prayers are for you and hopefully this gets resolved as soon as possible.”

Topik had plans to go to Ukraine this summer to see his family. He hasn’t seen them since he was 16 years old.

Russian troops launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions, warning other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to “consequences you have never seen.”

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