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Ukrainian in Tallahassee reacts to Russian attacks on civilians

A Ukrainian-American here in Tallahassee has been watching the war in Ukraine unfold as family and friends in her native country are struggling to survive.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 7:43 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Ukrainian-American here in Tallahassee has been watching the war in Ukraine unfold as family and friends in her native country are struggling to survive.

When Valeriya Petuskova’s mother left for Poland, the border was overloaded with buses, trains and cabs.

It took her over five days to get out of Ukraine.

A video was taken by Petuskova’s mother, Zoya, where people are crammed onto a train alongside so many other Ukrainians trying to get out.

Sounding the alarm, Zoya knew Russia was advancing and she should not stay and in a panic, she began her journey to Poland

“She was afraid because Poltava is a special region and planes do not fly there at all because they have special ground that disrupts all air-system,” Petuskova said. “They figure out that more likely the Russians are going to bomb that area. She came home immediately grabbed her safety bags and she called and told me she is on her way to Poland.”

Zoya spent a total of 35 hours traveling on trains to get to Poland. At one point, a close, call, the train even came under attack.

“It was pretty close but they survived.”

While in Tallahassee, her daughter lives in fear and on edge, not knowing what might happen to her mother.

“It was very stressful. We didn’t sleep since then because you have to watch, you don’t if my mom full battery charge, access to charge her phone, we text each other every 4 hours to be sure everything is fine,” Petuskova said.

All too familiar for Petuskova’s family who refers to Russian troops as “Parasites”.

They faced the same life and death decisions when Russia first invaded the Donetsk region eight years ago.

“In 2014 when they tried to escape Donetsk, Russian troops tried to shoot near car on their way to escape this area and they had to run through the sunflower fields in order to survive.”

Her mother has since made it to Poland. Petuskova believes in order to see a stop to the war, there needs to be a no-fly zone over Ukraine or else she believes bombs will fall on Poland next.

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