Chicago-area residents with ties to Ukraine are anxiously awaiting updates from their loved ones and hoping for peace following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Natalia Zervakis of Wheaton moved to the United States in 2014. She said her mother is a school principal with access to a bomb shelter in the Lviv region of Ukraine.
"She needs to make sure that everything is set up in case people hear the siren and need to hide," Zervakis said.
Zervakis said she believes the Ukrainian people will fight till the end. But she said the world needs to take tougher steps against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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Both Zervakis and her mother said Ukraine needs help defending its air space.
"Ukraine doesn’t have a choice. We have just the choice to protect our territory, our land, our parents," Zervakis said.
Maryana Dayachuk of Chicago grew up in Ukraine and said what is happening there is surreal.
"I feel like in some simulation. What’s going on? I’m not sure because every morning you wake up to something that should not be happening," Dayachuk said.
Dayachuk said her sister is still in Ukraine with family members attempting to reach the border.
"As of now, we don’t know what the next hour is going to look like. That’s how scary it is," Dayachuk said.