Russia-Ukraine crisis: North Texans rally for Ukraine as invasion intensifies

While Russia's attacks in Ukraine intensify, some North Texans are trying to keep track of loved ones in the war zone.                

Many are choosing to leave the country by way of Poland or Romania. Most are collecting food, water, and money and trying to stay out of the line of fire.

Anna Oleksiienko’s loved ones look out their windows in Vovchansk, Ukraine,  to a line of Russian military vehicles. 

"The city is currently occupied. There is a Russian flag on our main square. My family sits in the basement," she said.

Oleksiienko’s father works as a customs officer on the Ukrainian-Russian border. She was on the phone with him Russian troops crossed onto Ukrainian soil. 

"I messaged him, ‘Is everything ok because Putin is announcing war’ And my father said it’s silent. And while I’m talking to him, something starts," she said. "He started to drive, and the bombs were over him and over him the way he was moving."

Several explosions heard in Kyiv as Russia presses on with invasion of Ukraine

When Oleksiienko’s father safely reached their cottage home a few miles from the border, it was destroyed. 

"My city is being bombed as we speak. My relatives are being bombed," she said.

Friday afternoon, dozens in Downtown Dallas who have family members trapped in Ukraine stood shoulder to shoulder, hoping the violence will end. 

One of them was Yaroslava Vega. 

"They can’t go anywhere. They are stuck and terrified," she said.

Also there was Antonina Sadkovska. She says her family is taking shelter inside a gym, trying to save money and food. 

"They put tape on the windows just so help protect from the noise from the explosion coming and explosion sound," she said.

Valentyn Muzyka’s family members in Kyviv are huddling in their basement, including a 2-month-old. He says he’s been notified some of his friends have already been killed fighting for their homeland.  He vows if he was there, he would also step up to the front lines. 

"Give me the gun, and I’ll go," he said.

Many of these families cannot rest tonight after hearing Ukraine’s president warning Friday will be the hardest as explosions are heard in the capital city of Kyiv.