ORANGEVALE (CBS13) -- A heartbreaking and devastating blow as the local Slavic community learned Russia was bombing their home country. Sacramento is home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations in the U.S.
"I'm really worried because Russia [didn't] just attack one part of Ukraine, they attack[ed] the capital and main cities of Ukraine," said Erik Latkovskii.
Latkovskii learned the sobering and terrifying news on his way home, and then almost immediately headed to his church where he is the lead pastor secretary at Spring of Life in Orangevale. Latkovskii is keeping in close contact with a friend in Ukraine.
"He's on the west part of Ukraine. He sees a lot of military planes right now," Latkovskii told CBS13. "Not only hear, they also see the bombs. They see the lights in the sky."
The church is home to a tight-knit Ukrainian community that's already gathering to offer support and any help as many are now fearful for their friends and family.
"It's very scary to see all this thing happen because in my mind it's all about politics," said Sasha Datsenko.
Datsenko is working at the Firebird Russian Restaurant in Carmichael, but it's hard to concentrate as she has family and friends in Ukraine.
"For my emotion, it's the same. It's like panic. It's like you're so sad about this," said Datsenko.
A local community rallying and holding each other in support and prayer for family and friends thousands of miles away.
"I'm far away. And it's hard for me to do something right now, but I will pray to God," said Latkovskii.
Spring of Life is planning a community gathering and prayer breakfast for Saturday, Feb. 27 for people of all backgrounds to learn about the crisis and Ukraine and offer support.
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