Reaction throughout Central California as Russia invades Ukraine

FRESNO, California (KFSN) – This collision may be thousands of miles away, but for so many in the Central Valley, it is approaching its home.

Members of the Ukrainian community pray together for peace and encourage everyone to be informed.

The professor of Fresno State University, Dr. “They were all targeted just minutes after President Putin took to the air and launched a military operation. The bombs exploded and people felt the ground tremble,” she said.

For Dr. Malko, the conflict in her homeland, Ukraine, is more than an addition to her lesson plan.

He says, “It’s very difficult. Sometimes, I’m on the verge of crying and it ‘s hard to think.”

Her father lives six miles from Ukraine’s largest military airport

Dr Malko adds, “My father sounded a little upset. Of course, it was a big shock.”

Both of her parents survived what was known as the Great Terror.

“They grew up with these experiences of violence, of war, and they could never have imagined that in the generation of their children, we would have to face another war,” he added.

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Dr. Malko was born in Ukraine and came to the United States as a graduate student in Fresno State. She has used her work to educate others about the history of Ukraine, saying it plays a role in the tensions we see today.

The declared state of emergency means that people are now living in their homes or trying to evacuate.

“Society is paralyzed because offices are closed, people have to stay home. Do not go out, which means that everything has stopped for modern society. It is a huge financial loss and a moral blow. That is what Putin wants to achieve. said Dr. Malko.

Fresno State political science professor Nataliia Kasianenko is watching with distrust the disturbing images from her homeland.

“No one in his wildest nightmares would actually believe that Russia would carry out such a large-scale attack, such an aggressive action against the people of Ukraine,” he said.

Her parents and much of her family are in eastern Ukraine, about 40 miles from the Russian border. He says they have a hard time finding a safe place to hide underground as they continue to hear explosions around them.

Kasyanenko says that as an American she is afraid of US military involvement. But as a Ukrainian, she wants to see American leaders double.

Thousands of miles away from where the civilians were hiding from the blasts, the church at the House of the Gospel in southwestern Fresno will continue to pray for family and friends caught in the middle of the conflict in Ukraine.

Pastor Alex Ivanov was born in Ukraine and says that 70 percent of the people who go to church are also Ukrainians. There is also a large Russian population in the church.

“Our church building is ready to receive any refugee, anyone who may need a place,” he said.

Father Gregory Zubacz, pastor of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Apostle’s Archangel Michael, not only prays for peace, but also encourages members of his church and community to be informed of President Putin’s invasion and actions.

Father Greg says, “Trying to understand what is going on there and why it is happening.” A lot of people are confused. “

He adds, “The Ukrainian nation is resilient and always returns.”

Fr. Greg went on to say that on Sunday after the service, they plan to have a service to pray for peace in Ukraine.

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They are working to organize a public event to support the besieged nation, adding that when it comes to donations, make sure you donate to a trusted charity.

Both the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Catholic University receive donations.

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