‘I just want to see my parents alive’: Fear sets in for a Ukraine native studying at FSU

Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 6:32 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 25, 2022 at 9:53 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Ukraine native studying at Florida State University says she fears for the life of her family right now as Russia invades the country.

Anastasiia Vlasenko was born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, and is now studying at FSU in Tallahassee. She’s been watching videos circulating the internet of her hometown and country being destroyed.

Fear set in as her family is still back in Kyiv and sitting helplessly during the invasion.

“I just want to see my parents alive, that’s it. On the other hand, instead of panicking and crying and whatnot, we just have to self-organize and do figure out how we can help those Ukrainians who are currently in Ukraine facing this completely meaningless invasion,” said Vlasenko.

Vlasenko told WCTV what she’s heard so far.

“They are shelling airports; they are shelling military storage units and it’s not really clear what their other targets are,” Vlasenko said.

She continued to say that Russia seems to have no clear target in mind.

“So, my mother-in-law lives in the city center and there was one bomb that landed very close to her apartment, but it’s just a street, it’s not completely clear what they’re trying to do,” Vlasenko said.

She said phone calls now with her family aren’t simple chats about life. They’re about basic measures that need to be taken.

“I shared with them my tips on what to do if electricity is down, if the gas is down, because most Ukrainians still have a gas stove. If there is no internet, we decided we will use cable phones every day,” Vlasenko said.

Vlasenko’s intermediate family chose to stay at the capitol to take care of their elderly grandmother while others tried evacuating west.

Vlasenko said she saw news reports about Russia sinking a Turkish ship in the Black Sea and she’s worried about a widening war.

“If Turkey decides to join this conflict, this may be the beginning of something very, very scary. Not just for Ukraine but for the whole world,” Vlasenko said.

She’s urging people here in the states to do what they can to help.

“There are multiple NGO’s that are raising money right now for Ukraine that are both for military actions and humanitarian aid. However, if you don’t trust Ukrainian NGOs you can donate to the ministry of defense,” Vlasenko said.

Links for donations can be found here.

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