'My dad is like a captain of a ship.' Wilton resident's father won't flee home in Kyiv
While millions have fled their homes in Ukraine, the father of a Wilton woman has refused to leave his in Kyiv.
"My dad is like a captain of a ship. He will go down with it," Yaryna Anderson told News 12.
Anderson came to the United States with her mother in 1993 as a high school freshman after being raised in the western part of Ukraine. She's now nervously watching everything unfold in her homeland.
"We take it one day at a time, one night at a time," Anderson said. "I've established a little bit of a routine. I say goodnight to friends and family [in Ukraine] , then in the morning I'm the one who anxiously waits for my dad to say, 'Good morning.' When I see those two words or any kind of greeting, I know he's OK."
Anderson's father, 70, has described the violence and explosions to her. She said barricades are now up in his neighborhood.
"You don't know what awaits you, especially at night. The nights are the worst," Anderson explained. "Last week, there was fighting on his street, and he now thinks he's most likely the only person left in his building."
She told News 12 her aunt, cousins and their children also live in Kyiv and can't leave.
"One of the cousins went and volunteered. He's defending the city," Anderson said. "We also have a sick child, and we physically can't move her safely. So, as a family, they decided they'll stay together."
Anderson said when the war began, Ukrainians were on a mission to stop it, but now their mentality is to win it. She believes it's no longer just about the country's independence.
"It became a war that could possibly send a message, create a precedent that you can't have a country go in unprovoked and just take over another country," Anderson said. "The entire world will stand up and say, 'No, that's not OK.'"
Anderson, her husband and her 5-year-old daughter are supposed to go to Ukraine in July. She told News 12 she can't bring herself to cancel the tickets yet and is holding out hope the visit will still be able to happen.
Anderson said she's also been working with the charity Razom to advocate for and help those in need in Ukraine.