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'I want to find all my family and friends alive': Local Ukrainian woman speaks about impact of war on her family

Posted at 10:25 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 23:25:38-04

KENOSHA — Three weeks have passed since Russia started its war on all of Ukraine, and for Iryna Faulk, each day brings a new horror.

"We could not imagine how bad it would be," Faulk said.

Faulk moved to Kenosha from Ukraine in 2005. Her home is now a war zone.

"We couldn't believe what we were seeing," Faulk said. "I started to cry. We did not go to sleep for the next seven days."

Most of her family and friends have either escaped the war or stayed back to fight. She has family in the capital of Kyiv, as well as Chernihiv and Mariupol, where she couldn't get a hold of them for nine days. On Wednesday, she was able to speak with family in Mariupol, and they said they are okay.

"It was very difficult because we really didn't know anything what was going on there, and all we see, all reports we see on the news were devastating," Faulk said.

Her 14-year-old godson was able to escape from Chernihiv. Faulk plans to fly him to the United States so he can live with her family in Kenosha. She said he had just crossed the border into Poland on Wednesday afternoon.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed Congress on Wednesday morning. Faulk says Ukraine needs all the help it can get.

"We don't know when, if or what the end will be," Faulk said.

She said she has a message for the people of Russia.

"They have to be brave enough to say no, to stand up and fight for their freedom as well," Faulk said.

The last time Faulk was in Ukraine was 2019.

"I sure hope that I can go back," Faulk said. "I hope that I go back to a free Ukraine. I want to find all my family and friends alive."

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