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North Bay Ukrainian Families Follow Loved Ones' Harrowing Flight From War Zone

YOUNTVILLE (KPIX) -- In a home in Yountville, Ukrainian students from all across that country sit at the kitchen table of Debbie and Andy Alter-Starr, trying to figure out how to help their country from a half a world away. I

"I'm nervous. Anxious Scared. Also proud," said Viktoriia Tokar. Viktoriia grew up near the border with Belarus. She was able to get ahold of her Dad today. "I actually had a very emotional conversation with my Dad because he joined the military today. He was saying goodbye," she told KPIX 5.

She wants to go home to fight against the Russian invasion, but can't there's no way into the country right now.

"It's our home. We grew up there. Why would anyone take it over? It's our culture, it's our language, it's our traditions," she said.

Anastasiia Tokar, who grew up between Kiev and Kharkiv, has been struggling to reach family.

"Every second I'm on my phone, I'm trying to text my parents, trying to figure out where they are. But, yeah, the connection is like breaking up. It's hard," said Tokar.

The students gathered at the home of Debbie Alter-Starr, who's son Aaron and his girlfriend Ana are trying to flee and are waiting to be processed at the border of Poland.

"He's the lucky one. And that's what he then wanted us to emphasize," said Debbie.

Aaron told his Mom that he wanted folks not to focus on his escape, but finding ways to help.

"I don't want people to focus on me. I want people to do something," he said.

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