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Local Ukrainian Americans gather to pray for family overseas

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Posted at 10:28 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 08:44:03-05

PARMA, Ohio — When some people can’t lean on anything else, they lean on their faith. That is what so many Ukrainian-Americans are doing right now, and what many in Parma did on Thursday night.

“I’m sad, angry, I try not to panic because I have my family there,” said Oleg Hiay.

“Our relatives are not sleeping right now,” said Marta Ditchuk.

“They're not evacuating yet, some friends are staying there and they’re going to mobilize and do whatever it takes,” said Lasiy Chuk.

While their loved ones are mobilizing overseas, locals mobilized to pray for their family and friends.

“I feel like the West needs to help us more,” said Hiay. “Yes, the sanctions and all of that but feel like they don’t work and they’re too weak.”

Some want to see stronger sanctions from the U.S., while others would rather see U.S. armed forces involved.

“This is the new Putin, this is his regime,” said Andriy Voyetskiy. “He’s using the same playbook that Hitler used a long time ago.”

In addition to prayer, some stayed after the service to brainstorm a plan of action to get resources, money and goods to their loved ones overseas.

“Hopefully we’ll come up with some kind of a solution so we can say we did something and we are not just bystanders in this conflict,” said Hiay.

Some said their prayers and efforts will not cease, because they know what Vladimir Putin is capable of.

“The world needs to know that this is a serious thing,” said Hiay.

RELATED: Ukrainian-Americans in Parma worried about family facing Russian invasion forces

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