Chicagoan's view of Ukraine invasion
Chicagoan Julian Hayda — whose late father led St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Church near O'Hare — had been studying for the priesthood in Kyiv until last winter. Amid threats of a Russian invasion, he resumed his studies online from London last month.
- We checked in with Hayda after news broke of Russia invading Ukraine.
Context: December surveys showed that only half of Ukrainians anticipated a Russian invasion — and most thought it would be restricted to Eastern separatist territories.
What he's saying: "I don't think anybody expected missiles and bombs to fall out of the sky, but as of [Thursday] morning, 12 of my neighbors in Brovary, Ukraine are now dead," Hayda tells Axios.
- "My seminary is in a suburb of Kyiv, and a neighboring town, which is about a 30-minute walk, was bombed. I mean, it's like going from Niles to Morton Grove."
The latest: "A friend of mine that I'm with here in London has family in far western Ukraine (Ivano-Frankivsk), and they don't have an airport anymore," Hayda says.
- "They woke up this morning and the airport had been on fire for hours."
Hayda's message home: "Chicagoans should know that this is not a new Cold War," he says. "Ukrainians want peace, even if they need to defend themselves … Putin has no good reason to kill women and children and old people, and bomb airports, but that is what's happening now."
What's next for him: "Our classes were canceled this week and my classmates were in a makeshift bomb shelter in the basement of the seminary most of the day," he says. "So the answer is: I don't know."
Editor's note: Monica used to work with Julian at WBEZ.
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