‘It’s been very difficult to watch’: Roanoke woman concerned for her loved ones in Ukraine amid conflict

Martha Kuchar says she has been in contact with her friends and family who are sheltering in place since Russia invaded Ukraine

As the conflict in eastern Europe continues, it hits close for one Ukrainian in Roanoke .

ROANOKE, Va. – Many people are seeing Russia’s attack on Ukraine and wondering how this war will affect Southwest Virginia. For those who have family and friends in Ukraine, the concerns are even greater. That’s what it’s like for Roanoke College professor, Martha Kuchar.

She was the first in her family to be born in the United States just a few years after her parents immigrated here from Ukraine. Martha still has family and friends overseas.

“It’s been very difficult to watch this gradual deterioration. And today, it’s very bad. My friends and family are reporting to me about shelling, bombing and people taking shelter in basements,” said Martha.

Like many of us, Martha has been glued to news coverage of the Russia and Ukraine conflict, which turned violent on Wednesday when Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin announced an attack on Ukraine.

“It’s gotten worse and worse with every passing day,” said Martha. “Putin has just lost his mind. I’m sorry to put it bluntly that way, but it’s true. He’s unhinged. He will stop at nothing to get what he wants, which is to recolonize Ukraine.”

Martha tells 10 News she has family in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, which she fears could be taken by Russian forces any day. For now, Martha plans to take it one day at a time, which is exactly what her loved ones are doing who are in the thick of this historic conflict.

“Every single one of my friends who has written has said ‘We are not panicking. We are afraid, we are worried but we are not panicking,’” said Martha. “We have to hope and pray for the best.”

To help support those suffering in Ukraine, click here.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.