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Local Ukrainians anxious about families, fate of homeland

SEATTLE — As Russian troops continue to advance into Ukraine, news from the frontlines has Ukrainians in western Washington on edge.

The Ukrainian Association of Washington State says there are about 100,000 people of Ukrainian descent in the state.

Many are closely monitoring headlines and calling their families overseas as they fear for the fate of their homeland.

Families like the Lozynskas are thinking about loved ones back in Ukraine.

Okansa Lozynska owns European Foods on Aurora Avenue North in north Seattle.

She said no one needs this war.

Her son is worried about loved ones, too, and has a lot of anxiety surrounding the draft.

“Lots of anxiety, lots of frustration, lots of worrying. Don’t know if they’re going to draft my cousins into war, my uncles — scary times,” said Grygoriy Lozynskyy.

Washington Senator Patty Murray weighed in on the escalating conflict as well, saying that there’s a lot at stake.

“Lives are at risk, a country is at risk, democracy is at risk. It is absolutely critical that we follow through on the sanctions that President Biden implemented beginning (Wednesday) and if this increases, to follow up with more sanctions,” Murray said.

Singer Olga Okhapknia has lived in Washington for eight years.

“It is hard, but we are strong and a freedom (loving) nation, so only positive thoughts, only positive thoughts,” she said.