Local Ukrainian family says Russian troops are closing in on their loved ones

Oleg Yaresyo
Copyright KXLY 4 News Now

SPOKANE, Wash.– Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a living nightmare for a Ukrainian family that’s called the Inland Northwest home for years.

Oleg Yaresyo and his family have run the  Kiev Euro Market for 17 years, which is a slice of Ukraine nestled in the Inland Northwest. Their Eastern European roots run deep.

Some of his family, including his brother and parents, are still in Ukraine.

He thought they would be safe because they’re in the western part of the country. But, when Russian troops moved in they were close to his family.

He says his mom is 80 years old and he doesn’t know how she will leave safely.

Yaresyo said they were watching Ukrainian news and the channel just went dark when Russia started bombing. He said at first he thought it was WiFi issues.

Yaresyo last visited his homeland in 2019. The memories he’s looking back on now are far from today’s reality.

Russian troops launched their anticipated attack on Ukraine on Thursday, as President Vladimir Putin cast aside international condemnation and sanctions, warning other countries that any attempt to interfere would lead to “consequences you have never seen.”

Big explosions were heard before dawn in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa as world leaders decried the start of an Russian invasion that could cause massive casualties and topple Ukraine’s democratically elected government.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy introduced martial law, saying Russia has targeted Ukraine’s military infrastructure and explosions are heard across the country. Zelenskyy said he had just talked to President Joe Biden and the U.S. was rallying international support for Ukraine. He urged Ukrainians to stay home and not to panic

Biden pledged new sanctions meant to punish Russia for an act of aggression that the international community had for weeks anticipated but could not prevent through diplomacy.

The Associated Press and CNN contributed to this report. 

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