Bay Area Ukrainians worried about Russian invasion, many praying for peace

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Ukrainian Americans living in the Bay Area are watching the situation back home with a lot of stress. Many have family and friends who are caught in the middle of the growing crisis.

There were Sunday prayers at St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church in San Francisco, for a homeland on the brink of a possible invasion.

"Everybody is a little bit scared, everybody is under pressure and nobody knows what will happen tomorrow," said Father Georgiy Tyapko.

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Tyapko has many family members living in Ukraine, so do his parishioners.

"We are all afraid about our relatives," said Volodymyr Borodaykavich.

He and his wife Yulia Boskobiynyk. just returned from Ukraine where tensions are growing.

"People are very sober about the fact the war is possible, hopefully in the coming days the pressure from international politics will slow down any bad intentions that are coming from the Russian side," said Boskobiynyk.

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"We need to pray for a diplomatic resolution and hope Mr. Putin can see he shouldn't be foolish about a bit of real estate he may need," said Gregory Hallick.

Ostap Korkuna works with Nova Ukraine, a Bay Area based nonprofit working to raise awareness about the Ukrainian situation, by holding local rallies.

The group is also mobilizing to provide humanitarian aid to the region.

"We partner with people who are very pro-Ukrainian and they will be a target, so we need to support them," said Korkuna.

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Father Tyapko hopes diplomacy and divine intervention may help de-escalate military tensions.

"In this situation we need to combine prayer and political pressure," he said.

Nova Ukraine is planning a 'Stand With Ukraine' support rally. It's scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 20 at 1 p.m. at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.

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