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Ukrainians in Eugene worry about their loved ones

Ukrainian and U.S. flags fly in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Valentyn Ogirenko
Ukrainian and U.S. flags fly in Kyiv, Ukraine. Before coming to Eugene, Andriy Schular lived in Kyiv and Western Ukraine.

As Russian forces continue to invade, Eugeneans with ties to Ukraine are worried about their loved ones.

Iryna Volynets, a PhD student at the University of Oregon who is from Ukraine, was working on research at home when she learned that Russia was invading her home country.

“We started with shock,” Volynets said. “With some kind of feeling that this is not possible.”

During the last three days, Volynets and her husband have been constantly following the news and talking to their families.

“We are really worried,” said Volynets. “We don't know what we can do from here.”

Volynets and her husband, Andriy Schular, say that they’re both proud of Ukraine’s strength.

“We are a proud nation,” Schular said. "And we are fighting back.”

“And no one has a right to dictate what we should do," Volynets said. "And no one will take away that freedom from us. No matter what.”