Locals pray for Ukraine as Russian invasion continues

TROY, NY (NEWS10) – St. Nicholas of Troy Ukrainian Orthodox Church filled with parishioners and community members on Saturday to pray for Ukrainians as the Russian invasion continues. Deacons from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany were also present to show their solidarity.

“Very sad and unbelievable what is really happening,” said Father Vasyl Dovgan of St. Nicholas. Dovgan, who is originally from western Ukraine, still has friends and family there.

“We can’t sleep, we can’t really be at peace here, to be away from Ukraine, to be away from them. Because every text message, every phone call, if we don’t get an answer, it there is no peace,” he said.

Dovgan’s father-in-law is also still around, serving in the Ukrainian army as they continue to push back Russian forces.

“She [Dovgan’s wife] can’t sleep because her father is in the hot spot. It’s difficult to live that, to be far, to be far from everyone, ”he explained.

Other locals with ties to Ukraine are responding, including retired Major Amy Crounse, who briefly served in Ukraine for the New York National Guard.

“Ukraine definitely wants its independence, it wants to be part of NATO, it wants to become a more western country, it has western beliefs. This is in direct conflict with what Russia wants,” she said. Explain.

In 28 years of service in the army and national guard, his mission in Ukraine included training Ukrainian forces for NATO operations. Forces that would continue to fight in the Donbass region against Russian-backed separatists.

Those she knows there, ready to hold their ground, “They want to fight Russian aggression at all costs.”

New York State has also expressed support for Ukraine. This weekend, buildings across the state are lit up in blue and yellow to show solidarity. Governor Hochul has also pledged to take in Ukrainian refugees if needed.

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