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Colorado family with relatives in Ukraine waits and prays as Russian forces advance

Michael Wynar speaks of his family back in Ukraine
Posted at 8:55 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 00:15:32-05

DENVER — For Michael Wynar and his family, the images coming out of Ukraine are unthinkable. Russian military advancing over Ukraine's borders evokes memories of atrocities his family suffered for decades under the USSR back to World War II.

"It's scary that history can repeat itself so quickly," said Wynar, who was born in the United States after his parents immigrated from Ukraine. "It's just unthinkable. You couldn't imagine this ever happening. I mean, in your wildest dreams are their worst nightmares."

Several relatives live in Lviv, a target for Russian bombing campaigns. Wynar's family is debating whether to stay or leave Ukraine.

"They packed up their car with other things in case they do have to get out of town quickly," Wynar said. "But I also don't want [male relatives] to be on the street because they could pull them and conscript them into the army."

With few options and communication limited, Wynar says they have been left to wait and pray.

"There's not much you can do but pray, so we've been praying," he said, pulling out a rosary. "Explaining that to the kids is really hard. They just want to pray and worry about it."