A Ukrainian woman who has made her home in Galway spoke this week of her fears for her family following the Russian invasion of her native country.
Oksana Pamula, who has been living and working in Galway for the past two years, is originally from the Lviv region in western Ukraine where her mother, siblings, and grandmother still live.
“I am very pleased that Ireland is supporting us Ukrainians in this difficult time,” Ms Pamula said. “In Ukraine I have my family, a sister with a husband and two children, my mother, my grandmother who is 86 years old, and I have a brother. They live in the Lviv region, where people are still calm and not killed, but I don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”
“I asked my sister to pick up the children and come to my safe place. Mom asked not to leave her alone with her old mother, so they decided to stay at home in their country. I am very worried about them.”
Lviv is about 70 miles from the border with Poland, and the city has become a focal point in recent days for people fleeing the violence in the east of the country.
“There is a long queue on the border with Poland, in which women and small children stand for several days,” Ms Pamula said. “People are afraid of this war and are fleeing it. I would never have thought that such trouble would come to my home. I hope this war is over soon.”