LITTLE ELM, Texas - North Texans with family in Ukraine are hearing the reports from the U.S. government and worried about what may come next. They say right now it's likely very difficult to get out of the country.
Chrystya Geremesz says her family in Ukraine was hoping it wouldn’t escalate. But with the new warning from the White House, she says there is some panic from her family members overseas.
Geremesz’s patch of land in Little Elm is serene. But Friday, she couldn’t seem to shake an unsettling feeling. Her parents immigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine after World War II. She still has around two dozen loved ones living in western Ukraine.
"Me helping them out goes a long way," she said.
Geremesz sent money to her Ukrainian family for food and supplies following Friday’s warning from the White House.
With more than 100,000 Russian troops lining the border, the Biden administration revealed a potential Russian invasion is imminent.
Geremesz’s friends and family are holding out hope the tensions will ease.
"Already people now have second thoughts like is this really going to happen?" she said. "And I think panic is going to set in soon."
And while American citizens are being told to get out now, Geremesz says it’s much harder for Ukrainians to escape.
"People who have business or have been traveling recently in or out have the potential to get on a flight and leave, but the majority of people won’t," she said. "But at the same time, the majority of the people are willing to put their lives up against Russia. It’s almost a David and Goliath situation."
Geremesz helped start the nonprofit ‘Ukrainian American Society of Texas.’ The organization is still working to see if any Texans need family members in Ukraine to get out.
Geremesz is proud to be surrounded by Ukrainian history and culture inside her North Texas home. But it’s also a constant reminder that across the Atlantic her home country could be preparing for war.
"People in Dallas and people in North Texas need to take this seriously. This is not just about Ukraine," she said. "This is about the world’s balance."
Geremesz says she helps her family in Ukraine as much as she can from North Texas. She says she’s been in constant communication with them this week. They are safe but of course on edge.