Russian invasion of Ukraine looms over Ukrainians becoming American citizens

EVANSTON (WLS) -- A moving ceremony welcomed nearly 500 immigrants as new American citizens in Evanston Friday. But for some new Ukranian-Americans, what should have been a day of triumph was one full of fear and uncertainty.

"The people is dying every day. Every day is dying and it's unbelievable," said native Ukranian and new American citizen, Vasyl Shovgenyuk. "I didn't sleep all night. I didn't work. I cannot work. I cannot do nothing."

Shovgenyuk said he's very worried about his brother who is now fighting in the Ukranian army as Russian troops advance.

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"They have to stop it. American people have to go to the streets to protest...all the world they have to do that to stop Putin," he said.

Across the room, taking her oath along with hundreds of others at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Iryna Ivankiv is living in fear for her sister and in-laws in Ukraine.

"It's a very very dangerous situation in Ukraine," she said adding her family has nowhere to run.

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"We have attack, bomb attack, in our part of Ukraine. And sometimes they hide in basement," she said.

Today she holds a Ukranian flag pin as she becomes a US Citizen. One of the most sacred moments for an immigrant in this country, marred by the pain and uncertainty of Russian attacks against family an ocean away.

"I do what I can do here but my heart and my would with Ukranian people," she said.

"I'm from Ukraine, this time is no good time in Ukraine. Russia is crazy. President Putin is no good," added new US citizen, Yuri Kologiychuk.

A momentous day for these nearly 500 new Americans, but all of the Ukrainians we spoke with say while they are overjoyed in this moment, their hearts are in their birth country during this immense fight.
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