‘Psychologically, there is damage’: Roanoke woman with family in Ukraine shares her experience watching war overseas

Martha Kuchar is the first in her family to be born in the United States after her parents immigrated from Ukraine

How a Ukrainian woman in Roanoke says she's coping watching the war continue.

ROANOKE, Va. – All of us continue to feel the effects of the war between Russia and Ukraine, but for people who are from eastern Europe or have loved ones overseas, it’s an even greater impact.

One of those people is Roanoke College professor, Martha Kuchar.

10 News spoke with Kuchar back in February when Russia first invaded Ukraine.

Now, three months later, she is still watching her family and friends

It has now been nearly three months since Russia invaded Ukraine at the end of February.

Kuchar says she keeps her eyes glued on the news and stays in close contact with her family to keep up to date on the war.

“The attitude has changed somewhat among my family members. From the beginning, they had this sort of optimism but it was sort of motivated by a bravado or wishful thinking,” she said. “But now, it’s more pragmatic.”

Kuchar’s family is in the western part of Ukraine, which has not been hit as hard as the east, but they are still feeling the effects.

“Psychologically, there is damage. Even if physically they are okay. And there is going to be a lot of trauma for a long time in Ukraine,” she said.

Here at home, Kuchar has seen a tremendous amount of support for the country.

Like rallies, fundraisers and even the Ukrainian flag flying high in downtown Roanoke.

Kuchar says the hardest part is seeing the young men and women giving their all to fight for Ukraine.

“When I see those faces, it really bothers me,” she said. “Because they are people just like you and me. It could be your neighbor, they could be my students. So that’s very hard to see,” said Kuchar.

There seems to be no clear end in sight for this war.

But Kuchar is trying to remain hopeful this nightmare will be over sooner rather than later.

“Russia is doing something that is ethically, ethically, politically evil. You have to fight evil with goodness and that’s what these young people are doing. They are sacrificing themselves for a better tomorrow,” she said.

Find out more about how to support Ukraine, here.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.