Local Ukrainian woman worries about family and friends still in Ukraine

Posted at 9:42 PM, Feb 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 23:55:37-05

HAMPTON ROADS, Va - The fighting in Ukraine continues to intensify since it began last Thursday. Russian troops are said to be closing in on the capital city of Kyiv. For Iryna, a Ukrainian American who immigrated to America fifteen years ago says it’s devastating to see the fighting in Ukraine intensify , since Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

"It’s been painful to watch. I would even call it hell on earth. That’s how the last few days have been. Putin, at this point, he wants to destroy Ukraine I think," Iryna Kutsevol-Conwell, a Ukrainian American said.

She says she’s worried about her family.

"My entire family is there. My parents, sister, husband, and my elderly grandparents. I was encouraging them to run for their lives, to basically to try to move to the west, at least to the western Ukraine," Kutsevol-Conwell tells NEws 3's Leodnra Head.

It’s not so easy for her family to leave their homeland.

"My grand-aunt is 90 years old. She’s one of the reasons they can’t flee right now because they just can’t leave her behind. (she talks as she shows us pictures of her family in Ukraine"

As the chaos in Ukraine continues – she hopes for her family is safe.

"Ukrainians feel like America and most of Europe owes them protection because of Budapest Memorandum."

In 1994, the Budapest Memorandum was signed by Ukraine, Russia and the United Kingdom in exchange that Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons for security assurance from U.S., Britain and Russia.

"This is in agreement. But right now Russia is breaking that law. In a way, America and Great Britain are allowing them to break this agreement."

More than a hundred Ukrainians have died since Russia’s attacks on Ukraine began earlier this week. At least 150,000 Ukrianians have fled since the Russian invasion.