DENVER (KDVR) — A woman whose family fled Ukraine nearly 80 years ago fears for her family and friends still in the war-torn country.
FOX31 photojournalist Byron Stewart caught up with Tatianna Gajecky who was attending mass at Transfiguration of Our Lord, a Ukranian Catholic Church in Sunnyside. Stewart said Gajecky is the daughter of Ukrainian refugees who fled the country from the Russian invasion in 1944. Her oldest brother was born in Ukraine, and she and her other brother were born at a refugee camp in Austria.
“I was watching and these millions of refugees were leaving and running away with their children and their grandparents and everybody. It brought back many memories,” Gajecky said.
She grew up in a Ukrainian neighborhood in Chicago and got a master’s degree from Harvard in Ukrainian/Russian studies. She taught Ukrainian and English in the U.S. as well as in Ukraine. Her children are first-generation born in America.
Gajecky said she and her daughter have planned several large pro-Ukrainian rallies and that many people turned to her when the war started.
“It’s been very stressful psychologically for us. Because we’re safe here, but I have a lot of family there, a lot of relatives,” Gajecky said.
Gajecky is hoping for Vladimir Putin and Russian forces to withdraw but said if they don’t, Ukrainians will have no choice and need to fight until the end.