Local Ukrainian woman: 'My biggest fear, the loss of thousands of innocent lives'
CORNING, N.Y. (WENY)- Ukrainian families are feeling the impact of tensions at the Russia, Ukraine border, and an attack on Ukraine. One Ukrainian woman living in the Twin Tiers says she is worried for her loved ones.
"This uncertainty, what am I supposed to do with my mom and my family if the bombs will be falling over Ukraine," Natalia Hartmann said.
She immigrated to Steuben County from Ukraine in the nineties and most of her family is still there. She recently returned from a trip back to her home country to visit family.
"I just got back from Ukraine and every morning we would wake up and the first thing, turn on the news to see if we are still safe and the bombs are not flying over our heads," Hartmann said.
Now that she is back home on the other side of the world, Natalia says the first thing she does is pray. She is feeling nervous knowing that Ukraine can be under attack any minute.
"People are really stressed out, there's a lot of talk about uncertainty and what this day will bring," Hartmann said.
She explains bomb shelters that were built during the Cold War and have been vacant since are now being prepared for use.
"The shelters are being ready which makes you uncomfortable because the last time that was happening was the era of the cold war," she said.
Schools are preparing for the possibility of an attack by practicing emergency evacuation plans.
"I was talking to some teachers in high schools who described the new drills they are installing in schools to prepare children to evacuate on short notice," Hartmann said. "People don't know what to believe what to do they have their little suitcases ready to go with essentials, passports, and family valuables. They're ready to go into these shelters, there's a lot of unrest and uncertainty in people's minds," Hartmann said.
Her biggest fear is the loss of innocent Ukrainian and Russian lives an attack will have.
"A lot of mothers, Ukrainian and Russian, they don't want to see their children going to war and dying," Hartmann said.