Ukrainian Americans in Minnesota keeping close eye on escalating tensions by Russia

Irene Silenko and her son moved to the United States from Ukraine 22 years ago. Now, she is worried her native country could soon be going to war.

"Emotionally I feel really upset. It's my home country. I grew up there. I have relatives there. I want them to live a nice life and I also worry for their safety," said Silenko.

Silenko says, unlike 8 years ago, when Russia annexed Crimea, and her relatives in Ukraine stockpiled food and packed clothes in case they had to leave in the middle of the night. This time around her relatives seem to be taking Putin's build-up of Russian troops along the Ukrainian border in stride.

"They don't want Russia to come and invade, they don't want to surrender for that. They are numb. They are fatigued. They really don't know what else they can do. They kind of think they are going to defend their life if something comes but they don't know what to expect," said Silenko.

Silenko is glad the U.S. and NATO are promising military support if Russia does decide to invade Ukraine.

But she isn't eager to see American troops caught in the middle of a Cold War that seems to be heating up once more.

"This is lives too. This is [the] lives of American soldiers and as an American citizen, I worry about that too. This is really delicate balance for me," said Silenko.

Silenko's son says some in their community believe Russia is just flexing its military muscle while others fear a full-scale Russian invasion isn't far off.