UNF student is fearful for her family's safety as deadly violence erupts in Kiev
JACSKONVILLE, Fla. -- A truce was announced Wednesday in Ukraine between the country's President, Viktor Yanukovych and opposition leader Vitali Klitschko.
As negotiations are hashed out, the people of Ukraine are in a desperate state. UNF student Olena Baidulova said she's afraid for her family back home. Her parents and grandmother live in an apartment in the center of Kiev, where flames, black smoke, demolished buildings and bloodshed have become an everyday scene.
Baidulova calls her family using Skype and texts her friends several times a day.
"Just to make sure they're OK because you never know, a lot of people, they just find them you know dead on the street," said Baidulova.
Born and raised in Kiev, Ukraine, Baidulova said this is not the home she knows.
"People can't stand the dictatorship in the country," said Baidulova.
Anti-government protests began nearly three months ago in Ukraine. A truce was announced Wednesday, just one day after brutal clashes between demonstrators and police left at least 26 people dead and nearly 250 injured.
"I'm just really sad," said Baidulova. "And I was crying the other night because of all that's happening."
An MBA student at UNF, for the past four years she has lived in Jacksonville.
"It's my last year. I'm going to graduate this spring and I don't know what's going to happen after," said Baidulova. "I'm scared to go back."
She's also scared for her family, now living in the midst of chaos. Her parents are confined to their apartment.
"They're just staying at home," said Baidulova. "I told them not to go anywhere."
She admits that's no way to live, but said her parents like many people caught in the middle of a battle over power, they don't have a choice.
"They don't want to leave the capital because they have nowhere to go," said Baidulova.