Utah woman says home village in Ukraine attacked by Russian troops

Feb 28, 2022, 7:03 PM | Updated: Jun 7, 2022, 2:53 pm

WASHINGTON TERRACE, Utah — A Utah woman says her home village in Ukraine is under attack by Russian troops, and she’s fearing for her family’s lives.

Alla McCamey said she came to the United States eight years ago from a small village outside of Chernihiv, to marry her husband in Utah.

She grew up just a few miles outside the city in Ukraine that Russian troops stormed. Friends and family have been sending her videos of the destruction and damage.

From her living room in Washington Terrace, McCamey has reason to worry.

Playing a video on her phone from her former home in Ukraine, McCamey points out that you can hear shooting in the background.

“I felt like it’s nightmare, like it’s not real,” she said.

She recognized the movie theater she grew up attending, nearly leveled from a bomb. One video shows people walking around the place she called home most of her life, with buildings charred and burnt and cars blown up.

“The houses are destroyed by the bombs, the cars are destroyed,” McCamey said while watching the video.

Fires are seen burning in various places, with no one to put them out.

“It’s destroyed completely… it’s gone… my childhood memories, gone. Everything, everything destroyed,” she said.

Her village, she explained, came under attack by Russian troops as they made their way from the Russian border to the city of Chernihiv.

McCamey, who used to be a teacher, described how she kept in close touch with former students, co-workers, family, and friends.

Her entire family still lives in the village. McCamey said a friend called her with Russian troops in the distance.

“She said, ‘Listen… can you hear the tanks are booming, just boom, boom, boom,’” McCamey recounted.

She could hear the explosions through the phone.

At one point, McCamey said all communication was cut off. She and her husband feared McCamey’s family didn’t survive.

“For two and a half days, nothing,” she said. “So I started panicking here, and I started asking my students, friends, everybody from the village.”

Last weekend, a former student got back to McCamey that they had seen her family, and everyone was alive and okay.

They were without power and couldn’t charge their phones, she explained. From her understanding, a cell tower had been taken out which made calls and texts difficult.

A neighbor also let McCamey know her family was still alive. She found out that some of them hid in the basement, and others joined the fight against Russian troops.

Their town store is destroyed from bombs, McCamey said, making access to food difficult.

Communication now is limited, she indicated, because McCamey’s niece fears their phones are being monitored.

“I even don’t know if Russians captured the village,” McCamey expressed. “Because my niece just texted me, ‘We help military with equipment here,’ and I ask her, ‘Which military, and she said, ‘Sorry, no comment.’”

But in everything she’s seeing and hearing that makes her worry, McCamey also has reason to hope.

“They said, ‘We are strong,’” she recounted, of what her friends and family told her. “‘We are going to survive. We are going to win.’”

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Utah woman says home village in Ukraine attacked by Russian troops