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San Jose Woman Concerned for Family Stuck in Ukrainian City

A San Jose woman said she is concerned for her family in Bucha, Ukraine, a suburb of Kyiv.

San Jose resident Olena Gutsa was born in Ukraine and right now, her hometown of Bucha is in ruins. Hundreds of civilians were killed there as Russian forces destroyed most of the city. Gutsa said her mother and brother are still there.

“They had no water. They had to drink rainwater for a month. Old neighbors, old people got together to feed each other and help each other,” Gutsa said.

Gutsa added that her family didn’t leave because her father was sick. Her father passed away Thursday and was buried Friday.

“I can’t even express it in words,” she said.

Gutsa told NBC Bay Area Friday that that she is not sure where many of her relatives or friends are now since the incident.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that more than 400 people have been killed in Bucha.

“It’s hard to imagine humans could do that,” said Gutsa.

Gutsa told NBC Bay Area that before Russian troops retreated, they pulled up to her family’s driveway in a tank.

“They had machine guns. They made my brother to undress naked. Checked him for any Nazi tattoos or military tattoos. They robbed him. They took his watch. They took everything from the house they could take. But we were just grateful they didn’t kill him,” she said.

Many others were not as lucky.

“My brother told me today, ‘I would understand if those were aliens. That aliens came and did that. But those are people. They are not human,,” Gutsa said.

Gutsa added that she wanted to share her story, so people won’t turn away from the atrocities in her country and her hometown.

“Ask to close the sky over Ukraine and please donate and help people. We need your help,” she said.

Gutsa said her family can’t leave now because it’s not safe. She added that she feels guilty that she’s not in Ukraine to help.


Source: NBC Bay Area

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