‘My biggest concern right now, that I will never see my family’: Local Ukrainian describes war worsening in the east

Kateryna Eisenhauer’s family is in Odessa, Ukraine. They said they can feel the war closing in on them.
Kateryna Eisenhauer’s family is in Odessa, Ukraine. They said they can feel the war closing in on them.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 7:01 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - On April 10, 1944, the city of Odessa, Ukraine was liberated from the Nazi Germans after World War II. It’s a day that’s been celebrated for the past 78 years by the residents of Odessa with parades and ceremonies. Today, the city is on the brink of an attack by Russian soldiers. One Odessa native whose family is still there described their time so far.

“My biggest concern right now that I will never see my family or members of my family, especially my grandmother,” Kateryna Eisenhauer said.

Eisenhauer has lived in St. Louis for the last five years. She was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine, which is where most of her family still lives. She said her family said they can feel and hear the war getting closer and closer to them.

“When sirens on and they on often during the day, so you cannot be outside. They’re just nervous. Now, every sound, every move, just make them scary and nervous. They’re emotionally exhausted,” Eisenhauer explained.

News 4 first talked with Eisenhauer about a week into Russia’s invasion into Ukraine. Now, it’s 46 days later and she said thing are worse than expected.

“For the first two weeks, we were hoping it would be over. We were hoping that it would be a minor damages, but nobody expected this type of damages,” Eisenhauer said.

Earlier Sunday, Eisenhauer said she received notifications of a bombing near a region just outside Odessa. She said her family is concerned they could become the next Mariupol.

“Big, massive explosion happened in this region. That’s what I got on Ukranian news. It’s two hours away from Odessa, so you don’t know when massive explosion will happen in Odessa,” Eisenhauer said.

Today in Odessa should’ve been a happy, celebrated day outside the world famous Odessa Opera House. However, it’s now surrounded in sand bags and military barriers to protect the historic site.

“Today everybody stay at home. No parades, no flowers that are on soldiers’ monuments,” Eisenhauer explained.

While Eisenhauer gets updates from her family daily, she’s working hard on the ground here collecting supplies to send over to Ukraine. In the last six weeks, she and her friends have collected hundreds of humanitarian goods, medical and military supplies. However, she said they need even more.

“Right now, we’re asking about medical supplies. It’s very important. Military supplies, very important. War is not over yet, we still need your support, we need your prayers. We’re asking you to help us and continue helping us because it’s very important for us. Together, we can do a lot more. We can save lives and shorten days before war is over,” Eisenhauer said.

To help donate humanitarian aid and medical supplies to Ukraine, click here. To make donations for military aid, click here.