'Nightmare' for Minnesota family with loved ones near Kyiv

Yelena Tenenbaum, a Ukrainian native living in the Twin Cities, is hearing from family and friends, including her parents, brother, niece and nephew, living just outside of Kyiv and experiencing Russian attacks firsthand. 

"Nightmare, yeah, that’s a good word," Yelena told FOX 9. 

She says even with limited contact with her family living there, she’s heard stories of her mother hiding in bomb shelters and her brother and nephew joining Ukrainian guard services to protect their neighborhoods. 

"They’ve been hearing the bombings, they’ve been hearing the fighting on the streets, it’s all very, very close to where they’re living," Yelena’s daughter Dar’ya said. 

Yelena says her brother, the owner of a construction company, likely only has a hunting weapon for protection. Meanwhile, those unable to join the fighting are doing what they can to protect themselves, including Yelena’s 13-year-old niece, who has been making Molotov cocktails. 

"Can you imagine a kid, who is a 13-year-old girl, who’s supposed to be thinking about fashion, something else, and she’s helping doing [Molotov cocktails]?" Yelena said. 

They say the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people comes from centuries of conflict. Even with that strength, they’re hoping the world offers a hand to Ukraine to help them through the conflict. 

"[My brother] said ‘you can’t even imagine how people get together in solidarity and they cheer everybody like we will be fine we will win this war,’" Yelena said. 

The Tenenbaums say if you would like to help the people of Ukraine you can find more information HERE.