Uncertainty fuels fear among Ukrainians as Russian troops advance

By Catholic News Service

[Kyiv, Ukraine – CNS] – Uncertainty of where Russian troops will strike is feeding fear among Ukrainians, despite many standing in defiance over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military invasion, which is being called “Europe’s 9/11 moment.”

Across Ukraine, many spent their first night of war sleeping in bunkers and basements, while multiple explosions shattered the area around the capital, Kyiv.

Some sought shelter in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral. Others, including hundreds of thousands of civilians, are trying to flee westward to the Polish border for safety, some seven hours away.

Poland has said it is preparing a medical train to assist people seeking to escape. But others, like distraught Olga, who is in Amman, Jordan, for business, told Catholic News Service her family in Kyiv has “no other choice but to stay put, as ways to access cash have shut, roads are clogged and a curfew is in place under the emergency martial law.”

A woman in Lviv said although the city had not yet been bombed, people were sitting in shelters.

“The situation is very tense and terrible,” she told CNS. Some church leaders say that now is not the time to abandon their flocks. In a post made available to CNS, one wrote: “We are not leaving. How can we? My responsibility is to shepherd at all times. It would be a terrible testimony to get up and leave the believers.”


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