Bay Area Ukranians on edge, waiting to see if war breaks out

Some Bay Area Ukrainians say they are on edge, waiting to see if war breaks out.

One woman says she’s following developments so closely, she often gets up in the middle of the night just to check the latest news.

Many are hopeful the threat of an invasion somehow turns into a bluff, but most say it's likely just a matter of time.

At a Ukrainian Church in San Francisco on Sunday, stress and tension ran high over the threat of the looming Russian invasion.

While some pray for peace at home, some Bay Area Ukrainians said they went to Sunday service seeking inner peace.

"To be honest, I didn’t get that feeling of peace that I wish," said  Tatiana Fedyk.

Another parishioner said he worries about his parents living in the capital of Kyiv, saying they will hunker down if war breaks out.

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"They will try to support the Army how they can," said Vitalii Fokin.  Most likely that support would come in the form of money and food.

"Stop Putin, Save Ukraine," was a chant at a Stand With Ukraine rally in front of San Francisco’s Ferry Building Sunday afternoon, where about 300 people gathered.

Many said an invasion will lead to bloodshed.

"We fear for human life because if such an invasion happens Ukrainians are not going to stay down.  Every Ukrainian says that they're going to pick up a gun and fight," said Natalia Anon, one of the organizers of the rally.

Several speakers addressed how important it is that the world support Ukraine, a young democracy that values freedom.

Some say they’re concerned a Russian invasion could spread, threatening Eastern Europe and beyond.

"Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, they’re looking at what’s happening and they’re seeing themselves as being next," said Igor Markov, with the non-profit group Nova Ukraine.

Some think Putin's invasion motivation is expansion, a way to grow his sphere of influence, adding that a free Ukraine potentially allied with the west runs counter to his plan.

"If Ukraine is a thriving democracy where people can live freely and have freedom of speech, freedom of elections and freedom of religion and right next to them there's Russia, an authoritarian regime, he's threatened by that," said Anon.

Like their family back home, these demonstrators anxiously await Russia's next move now that they’ve heard reports that US intelligence believes Putin has already given the go-ahead to invade.

"It’s awful news obviously, but I think we all knew this was going to happen," said Roman, who said he didn’t want to give his last name in order to protect his family in Ukraine, in the event the Russians take over.