Local family raising money to help relatives in Ukraine who are running low on supplies
"What Russia is doing right now, It's unheard of. No one could ever, ever believe that something like this is even possible."
A local mother and daughter are watching the invasion of Ukraine with great concern for their relatives who are there.
Photos show Palm Desert residents Nadia Popova and her daughter Anastasia in happier times with their mother and grandmother. Now, those same relatives have spent the past few nights in a bomb shelter with no plumbing as her hometown of Nikolaev is attacked.
"When the sirens go off, my brother tells her we have to go. We have to go. She refuses to go. And she doesn't want to go there," Nadia said. "So, my family actually saw the tanks and the whole Russian troops moving up to the downtown right. So and everyone is scared really no one ever saw anything like that before. No one expected anything like this to even be possible to happen."
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The Popovas said Ukraine and Russia do have a cultural connection but don't think it means Ukraine shouldn't be independent.
"People who just really want to spend the rest of their life at peace and being healthy and happy to have to through all of that," Nadia said.
Both worry it could be a drawn-out conflict believing both sides will be unwilling to back down.
"That is my concern. Yes. Because I know both cultures, they are very stubborn. Never. We are very, we will never give up," Nadia said.
A few days into the conflict and supply issues are already a major problem.
"It's made it next to impossible for them to get the medicine that she needs. I know my uncle just bought about two weeks worth of medication for her, but I mean he bought it out. I mean, we can only help it through, restock soon, but we don't know when that will be," Nadia said.
And that's why the Popovas are raising money to send as many supplies as they can to Nikolaev.
"So now we have a fundraiser on Facebook. This is our third day having fundraiser and we've been having huge support from the community. I have never seen anything like this before in my life. It's absolutely beautiful what we can all do together," Anastasia said.
The images are difficult to see but they believe it's important for people to know what's happening.
"It's really surreal to be able to sit on your phone and look through your social media and witness war. I mean, this has never happened before. Yes, we are getting to see it first hand and I think that's why so many people are coming together," Nadia said.
Click here to visit the Popovas' fundraiser page.
Note: There was previously a scam with some posing as Nadia and setting up a fake fundraiser page. The link above has been verified by Nadia.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.