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Ukrainian woman living in Portsmouth gives insight into war happening in her home country

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Posted at 2:09 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 19:47:49-05

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Five thousand miles away from her family, she is panicked.

Tania Skorokho, a Portsmouth woman, is fearing for her family's life after Russia invaded Ukraine last week.

We first met Skorokho in Norfolk last week at a "Stand With Ukraine" rally. She moved here from Ukraine four years ago. She told us the war had hit her family directly.

Her cousin was killed by a bomb as he went walking outside, and we are learning more insight about her family's willingness to survive.

"It is just painful to see. Can you imagine people come and bomb your house, ruin your house you worked so hard for?" says Skorokho.

Every day, Skorokho gets more videos of the attacks on her home country, terrifying scenes of war near her village of Sadove, a place she says is great.

"My country is a beautiful country before all this happened," she said.

Now, military tankers sit outside the streets she used to roam after the Russian invasion.

"I am just feeling anxious; [I'm] having panic attacks," she said.

Her entire family - her mother, grandmother, siblings and their children - are huddled in the basement daily, taking cover.

"They are terrified. My mom is a very strong woman. Some days she calls, and my grandmother, too, and we cry together," said Skorokho.

Thousands of miles away in her Portsmouth home, Skorokho's heart aches.

"Some days I feel powerless and I have bad emotional breakdowns, but try to get myself together to do what I can to help," she said.

Sunday, she went to Washington, D.C., to protest, hoping the U.S. will help by sending in weapons, jets and closing the air space over Ukraine.

"We need help from other countries," she said.

She's also spent thousands of her own money to send over supplies.

"We need medical supplies, burn stuff, things for wounds and helmets," she said.

If you want to help Ukraine, Skorokho has created an Amazon wish list.

Related: 'It's like a very bad nightmare': Hampton Roads Ukrainians fear for family back home after Russian invasion