SHOREWOOD, Wisc. — Ukrainians around the Milwaukee area are praying for their family and friends now in the line of fire from the Russian invasion.
Nikolay Rogovskiy owns the Russian Food and Gifts store on Oakland in Shorewood. He first found out about the invasion of his birth country this morning.
“It was the first thing I saw in the morning when I woke up. I went to my kitchen and I saw my wife crying. That’s when I understood something happened,” said Rogovskiy.
He has spent much of the day catching up on the news headlines and contacting family members living in Odesa, the southern part of the country. He spoke to his cousins Thursday morning.
“They’ve already had three missiles launched at the city of Odesa," Rogovskiy says. "Just like me here, they are absolutely shocked and fear what’s going to happen next. They’re scared. They literally don’t know what to do. Either stay there, run from there, hide, pack your bags. They’re confused. It’s a situation I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.”
Rogovskiy is unsure of where this ends. He hopes Russian president Vladimir Putin stops the aggression.
“Yesterday I was sure nothing was going to happen. So, today knowing what happened, it’s extremely hard to say what he’s going to do,” says Rogovskiy.
For now all he can do from Wisconsin is pray.
“Pray for Ukraine, pray for people, for their safety, that’s the only thing I can say," he said. "That’s the only thing I can do from here.”