SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A local Ukrainian woman whose parents remain hunkered down near Kyiv says she’s skeptical after Russian officials announced they plan to de-escalate their attack there.
For Oksana Lytvynenko, the last month has felt like years, filled with sleepless nights and wondering if her family in Ukraine is safe, if they have enough food.
“Get panic feelings and feel helpless. I can't do anything for them … Every time I make a meal at home right now, and I’m thinking that I wish I could deliver this meal to them,” said a tearful Lytvynenko.
Her mother Eudokia lives in an apartment in eastern Kyiv. Her brother Alexsey lives in the northern part of the city. Her father Nikolay lives in a village outside Kyiv.
All have been hesitant to leave the shell-shocked area, especially her father, recently diagnosed with bladder cancer. The war has halted his treatments.
He was born in Ukraine in 1941 and told his daughter, "I was born in the war, and if I have to, I will die in the war. I’m nothing going anywhere. This is my homeland.”
Lytvynenko's loved ones spend most of their nights huddled in underground shelters, including her mother.
“She was crying in beginning. She got used to it, and that is scary. The fight sound has become the new normal,” said Lytvynenko.
Russian negotiators recently announced on Russia state TV, as a first step in peace talks, they plan to drastically reduce activity around several areas, including Kyiv, where forces are stalled.
“We don't trust it. We can’t,” said Lytvynenko.
Lytvynenko is skeptical, especially since the bombs continue to fall. She says many in Ukraine feel Russia has a hidden motive.
“They believe that they’re doing this to recharge, restructure and rest,” said Lytvynenko.
Meanwhile, Lytvynenko can only wait and hope.
“Keep staying in touch and pray that it calms down, that lives are saved,” said Lytvynenko.
Oksana says her family will consider going to another part of Ukraine if the situation worsens, but they actually feel safer in Kyiv than elsewhere because of the missile defense systems in place.
A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help her family with food and other expenses.