Ukrainian Americans describe feeling of “helplessness” during Russia’s invasion, plan action in support of Norfolk on Friday

Portsmouth, Virginia (Wavy) – Anna Mahorkina had stomach knots for several months, but it was a Wednesday night when she quickly reached for her phone to make a very important phone call.

Her parents, who live in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine, where she was born and raised, called. Missile strikes for miles were reported.

“I’m calling them, I can’t reach them, and my heart is still beating,” Mahorkina said.

Eventually, she got in touch with her parents, who blamed the missed call late. They confirmed that everything was fine.

However, her parents remain steadfast in their home, even as the Russian invasion continues, Mahorkina fears how much they may still be fine.

“I would not wish that on anyone. The feeling of helplessness is getting worse here. You are not in control of the situation, ”Mahorkina said.

Mahorkina has lived in the United States for more than two decades. She came to study at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, where she now works.

Below: Dr. Anna Mahorkina talks about the emotions surrounding the invasion of Ukraine.

For five years she was also president Ukrainian Cultural Association Tidewater. She says the group now has more than 300 members, which have proven to be a vital community in recent weeks.

“I created a group on Facebook so that we could all communicate and share information,” said Mahorkina. “She just kept growing.”

Recently, the board of directors has also posted on its Facebook page condemning Russia’s actions.

“We are all horrified by the fact that Russia continues to invade Ukraine. In word and deed, Putin reaffirms his imperialist aspirations to subjugate Ukraine and the Ukrainian people and proves once again that he is committed to war and respects only force.

“We appreciate that the United States and its allies have shown unity in response to Russian aggression, as well as the implementation of the first wave of sanctions against the Russian economy and Russian officials. We welcome the “bipartisan message of solidarity and determination” from the leaders of the US Senate to support Ukraine “in this dark hour.”

“But we expect more. We call on the United States and its allies not to dwell on this, but to impose tougher sanctions on Russia’s elite, including reducing Russia’s access to SWIFT; significantly increase military and economic assistance to Ukraine; to abolish the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline; and reaffirm Ukraine’s progress towards NATO and EU membership. We call on the UN to send peacekeepers to Ukraine for unbiased monitoring of the situation.

“The great war in Ukraine will not stay in Ukraine. Not only the lives and future of 44 million Ukrainians are at stake, but the future of all international security and stability is under attack. “

Board of Directors of the Ukrainian Cultural Association Tidewater

Mila Mazhava, a lawyer for Virginia Beach, who is also from Ukraine, echoed the group’s statement and stressed the desire of Ukrainians to defend their land.

“This country needs tools to fight back,” Mazhava said.

She urges everyone to call their members of Congress and speak out in support of Ukraine. She points to the language in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum as a justification for US action.

“We want peace. That’s all, ”Mazhava said.

Below: Mila Mazhova, a Virginia Beach lawyer, discusses why Ukraine needs help.

On Friday at 11 o’clock both Mahorkina and Mazhava plan to be at the event “Stands for Ukraine” in Town Point Park in Norfolk.

Both say any support really matters at this time.

“The support is huge. Ukrainians really appreciate the support. But we do. I would like to see more, ”Mahorkina said.

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