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‘Terror’: Marin Ukrainians endure Russia invasion disaster

Alina Redka, who grew up in Kyiv, Ukraine, claims the Russian invasion of her native country is “like a knife in the coronary heart.”

“This is my land and this is my folks, and it is remaining attacked,” explained Redka, a San Rafael resident. “I can’t cease contemplating of the trauma, of the terror.”

Now a software program engineer, she remembers her childhood as stable and free from a lot of the turmoil of the aftermath of the Soviet Union breakup. She recalled excursions out in the place, where by she aided her moms and dads lay cement for a second property.

“I under no circumstances believed that now, 30 many years from then, my mothers and fathers would be sheltering in the basement I helped them create,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the residence we constructed. Blood and tears.”

The Rev. Stephan Meholick at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in San Anselmo on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal) 

Redka is among the a community of Ukrainians residing in Marin County who are intently looking at a war raging in their homeland far more than 6,000 miles away. Some have embarked on formidable efforts to organize area motion, from prayer to direct support, for their property nation.

Nataliia Karpenko, a resident of Kentfield, claimed she left Kyiv last week right after a visit to see her family members as the menace of invasion mounted. Now, they stay stranded in the city of Odessa. She is distressed that her family members and liked kinds have not been ready to evacuate.

”My mom and dad stated if Grandpa can’t leave, none of us are going to depart,” she explained.

Nataliia Karpenko, left, stands with her spouse, Geoffrey Franklin, Anna Novakovska (in white hoody) and Shirin Hashem of San Francisco through an anti-war demonstration in San Francisco on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (Provided by Nataliia Karpenko) 

Karpenko begged her mom and dad to evacuate, but they faced two road blocks — her aged grandfather did not have an worldwide passport and did not have time to compete for just one with other refugees.

“Nobody at any time considered it would happen,” Karpenko explained.

Karpenko claimed she is proud of Ukrainians who are inclined to struggle for their region and for liberty, getting knowledgeable a lot of a long time of conflict and threats of getting rid of an unbiased authorities to Russia’s manage.

“Ukrainian people today are more geared up for this. They are extremely very pleased for democracy,” she explained.

In San Anselmo, St. Nicholas Orthodox Church has turn out to be a focal stage of the local community reaction.

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The Rev. Stephan Meholick was one particular of 11 Orthodox Church leaders current throughout a ceremony in Menlo Park this week that collected Ukrainians, Russians and associates of the general public in a solemn prayer for peace, he stated.

The Rev. Stephan Meholick at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in San Anselmo on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Alan Dep/Marin Impartial Journal) 

The prayer, which termed for “mercy, lifestyle, peace, wellness, salvation, for individuals who are struggling, wounded, grieving, or displaced for the reason that of the war in Ukraine,” encapsulated his sights on the subject matter, he stated.

St. Nicholas has about 110 active users, of whom about 20 are ethnic Russians. The relaxation occur from a assortment of Jap European nations, which includes Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Georgia.

Olga Volkova, who is ethnically 50 %-Ukrainian and 50 percent-Russian, is a single member of that local community hoping for a swift and peaceful resolution.

“They will stand up for their sovereignty and for their independence and their land,” she stated. “It’s an complete tragedy, no make any difference what variety of race, what sort of shade, what sort of nationality. We’re nevertheless human beings.”

San Rafael resident Olga Volkova, who was born in Chernihiv, Ukraine, outside the house her office in Novato on Friday, March 4, 2022. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Unbiased Journal) 

Volkova, who is effective for an promotion corporation and life in Terra Linda, came to the United States on a basketball scholarship for the College of California, Berkeley.

Her mom was sheltered in a closet when a missile strike her apartment making in Chernihiv on Sunday, she explained. The affect shattered the windows and blew out the doors. Her mom is alive and has not left, Volkova said.

“There actually is nowhere to go at this position,” she explained. “I think we need to continue to be strong and I felt like the environment wants to listen to it. We all require to know how horrible and how unhuman what’s taking place there ideal now.”

Denys Nevozhai, a Mill Valley resident, has been seeking to relocate his mom and dad and his wife’s dad and mom from Kyiv to safety. They are all in their 70s.

“They really do not have a motor vehicle. They are not modern day, they are not tech-savvy,” he stated.

Nevozhai, earlier a professional-Ukrainian revolutionary from Kyiv who participated in the 2004 Orange Revolution, has been apprehensive about the creep of Russian impact in Ukraine for two a long time. He said he was stunned “as absolutely everyone was” at the unexpected boldness of Russia’s military incursion.

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Olga Volkova of San Rafael, who was born in Chernihiv, Ukraine, demonstrates setting up maintenance person Mark Etherington a picture of her mom who life in Ukraine exterior her office environment in Novato on Friday, March 4, 2022. Volkova explained her mother has been sheltering in her bathtub because the airstrikes by Russia started. To clearly show solidarity with Volkova and the Ukrainian folks Etherington place the colours of the Ukrainian flag in the former radio tower at Hamilton. (Sherry LaVars/Marin Independent Journal) 

At 1st, the dad and mom refused to leave, even as the shootings and the bombings escalated.

“Their residence is fundamentally their world,” he stated. “This is the only factor they have.”

But in recent times, they’ve grow to be extra amenable to transferring. On Friday, they were scheduled to cross the border into Poland from Lviv, the largest city in western Ukraine.

“It’s additional or less protected there suitable now,” he stated.

The U.N.-affiliated Worldwide Group for Migration, citing governing administration ministry data, stated about 1.25 million persons had still left Ukraine as of Friday, in accordance to the Associated Press. The country’s inhabitants is about 40 million.

The U.N. claimed more than 300 persons have died due to the fact the invasion started off.

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