RICHMOND, Va. -- Richmond is just over 5,000 miles away from Ukraine. Despite the geographical distance, the impact of the war is hitting home for some families in Central Virginia.
Ukrainian natives that now live in Richmond tell CBS6 they get videos daily of explosions, describing them as terrifying and scary.
Oleksii Nikitenko said many show attacks on civilians trying to stop a Russian military invasion.
“It looks like total destruction of the Ukrainian population,” Nikitenko said.
His parents Volodimer and Irina live about five hours from the capital. He said they are afraid of what’s going on and are in danger and they are left in tears every day.
“I can’t even describe these feelings. I wish that nobody would experience that. My hands can not stop shaking. I can’t go to bed,” Nikitenko said.
He and other Richmond Ukrainians created an organization called Project Ukraine Now. They are collecting money to get items the area needs to keep defending their land.
They learned about the need through the mayor of Boryspil, a city just outside of Kyiv.
CBS6 skyped the mayor about what that need looks like. He said he needs the United States to close the sky, weapons and ammunition.
“The whole world needs to unite around Ukraine. Because victory in Ukraine is going to be victory in democracy all over the world,” said Mayor Volodymyr Borysenko.
He said Russia continues to cause war to elementary schools, hospitals and places people live.
“They need to stop this war,” he said.
The organization will be collecting money to buy items. They will then get shipped to Poland and brought into Ukraine from that border.
To get involved you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or scan the QR code pictured below.