KANSAS CITY, Mo. – This week marks one year since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Twelve months ago, KSHB 41 spoke with Elina Shutova, a University of Kansas student whose family remains in Ukraine and we visited her again on Monday.
“Over the past year, a lot has changed,” Shutova said.
On February 24, 2022, Shutova said her family had fled her hometown of Kherson in southern Ukraine.
“I think it was around 5:45 in Ukraine when the first rocket attacks happened and honestly, it was just awful,” Shutova said.
Adjusting to a new life in a new place has left Shutova’s family with many questions.
“Sooner or later, I know the situation will improve, but the main question is when,” Shutova said.
Nataliya Meyer is a local fashion designer and is part of a local non-profit called Stand with Ukraine KC, a non-profit launched in 2022 to assist citizens of Ukraine.
“I was born in Ukraine and have lived in Ukraine for 20 years,” said Meyer, who serves on the organization’s board.
Meyer moved to the Kansas City area with her family but still has many friends overseas in the midst of war.
“Two days ago on Saturday I was talking to a friend of mine and she owns a beauty salon, and she’s like, ‘Oh, there’s a siren now,’ and I’m like, ‘Are you going to hide?’ and she’s like, ‘Every day,'” Meyer said.
On Monday, President Joe Biden visited the capital of Ukraine, paying his respects to fallen soldiers while also trying to keep allies together, which means a lot to the Ukrainian people.
“These are high hopes for us to make sure all of this ends,” Meyer said. “We just want to be done.”
While there is no clear end in sight, the Ukrainian people are strong.
“They really believe we will prevail and Ukraine will win and everything will be fine,” Shutova said.