Ukrainian doctor living in Kansas City fears she won't see friends and family again.
In the U.S. only six months, Dr. Olga Tkachenko planned a return to Ukraine in June for her mother's birthday. Now all they have are phone calls and texts as her mother waits out the war in Poland.
Dr. Olga Tkachenko said she never expected the war between Russia and Ukraine to intensify. As Russia invaded the doctor watched the news regularly for updates which left her feeling anxious. Now, she tries to distract herself and reads the news rather than watching.
Family members and colleagues who remain in Ukraine keep Dr. Tkachenko apprised of what's happening. Teachers have fled and, according to Tkachenko, parents still in the country, like her aunt, are trying to keep children distracted and productive.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the U.S. and NATO to close the airways over his country, a move Dr. Tkachenko agrees with.
Ukrainian soldiers can defend the land, she said, "but you cannot know what you will get from the sky."
- Dr. Olga Tkachenko, Ukrainian doctor
If you want to support efforts in Ukraine, here are some Kansas City ways to help.