In despair, Ukrainians in Triangle worry about family back home under siege from Putin's forces

25 February 2022

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) — Polina Lymar doesn’t know what her country is going to look like in a few days.

“Our borders are being violated aggressively,” the Wake County woman said. “My friends are in bunkers in Kyiv. They’re bombing all the time.”

Her parents, grandmother and friends are in a town close to the Ukrainian capital. Thankfully they are all OK.

Her family emigrated from Russia to Ukraine in the 1980s.

She’s lived in North Carolina since 2014

RELATED: Ukraine’s capital under threat as Russia presses invasion

“I want the world to know we are home,” she said. “We are in Ukraine. My family is in Ukraine. They don’t want to leave. Most of my friends don’t want to leave. They want to stay home.”

She stood in solidarity with her home country on Thursday night at a rally in downtown Raleigh and plans to be at another one first thing Saturday.

“I’ve grown up on Russian books,” she said. “I’m a musician. I play classical Russian music. It’s not about language, it’s not about culture, it’s about one precise person who overtook the whole government and we need to stop it,” she said.

Rabbi Zalmy Dubinsky might work in Raleigh but he has a close connection to what’s going on in Ukraine.

Another rabbi he knows who works in Kyiv sent a video of families sheltering underground.

Dubinsky’s grandfather was born in Ukraine and he led two Passover Seders there when he was younger.

“It’s an attack on humanity,” he said. “It is unprovoked, it’s unnecessary and vicious.”

Ukraine is home to thousands of Jews and during the Holocaust, more than a million were killed.

The latest attack isn’t on a single people but it has resonated with Dubinsky

“Just the idea of the countries where Jews have been targeted and now Jews are living in,” he said. “It opened my eyes to the idea that so often we see tragedies on the news of different geopolitical issues around the world and it’s fleeting and passing and you move on. How many incidents have I overlooked because I didn’t feel a connection to it?”

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