Ukraine

Burbank Woman Checks on Her Family as They Hide in Kyiv Underground Garage

Ukrainians living in Los Angeles are closely watching events back home, worried about their loved ones in harm's way.

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Sofiya Brodovska begins every day searching for news about the war in Ukraine.

The 25-year-old woman's home city of Kyiv has been under attack for nearly a week. Some of her relatives couldn't get out before the bombs started falling. Now they speak to her from shelter over video chat.

Her cousin and uncle are among those hunkering down in the garage beneath their apartment building. They sleep on mattresses and blankets with their neighbors while listening to emergency alerts on their phones.

"If they hear sirens going off that's when they run and hide in the bomb shelters," she said.

Some of her relatives packed up their belongings and left Kyiv. Her parents, sister and grandmother are now staying at a hotel in western Ukraine, away from the fighting.

Her 14-year-old sister says it was a terrifying journey past tanks and Russian soldiers.

"I was very scared because my mom said the war is started," her sister said.

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Brodovska's mother breaks the news that Brodovska's 26-year-old brother is on his way back to Kyiv to fight the Russians, against his father's wishes.

"He's not just going to go there and hide. He feels like he has to go and fight."

Brodovska wants western leaders to institute a no fly zone over Ukraine. She feels like Ukrainians are fighting for the whole free world.

She just graduated from Cal State LA and had planned to return home in June.

"I love my country and Kyiv so much," she said. "It's hard to realize I don't have a home to go back to."

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