Midway couple: ‘We feel violated’ about bombings, violence in Ukraine
MIDWAY, Utah — Bombings, violence, families torn apart — images that are hard to watch as war escalates in Ukraine. But for one Utah couple, it was once just home.
“Kyiv is the most beautiful city; it’s like the European old cities,” said KLynn Lochhead, who lives in Midway. “Hundreds and hundreds of acres just of sunflowers.”
KLynn has precious memories of a country now under siege.
Her husband, Robert Lochhead, said they are, “Surprised and shocked and horrified.”
Work and volunteer opportunities took the Lochheads to Ukraine and Russia. They lived in both countries from 2010 to 2014. Their hearts are broken watching what’s happening now.
“More than we can say,” KLynn said. “We’ve shed many tears.”
They say they were the only Americans to witness construction of the barricade in April 2014 when Russian-backed separatists took over the Ukrainian government building in Donetsk. It started out peacefully, but quickly changed.
“It was tough-looking men wearing ski masks and carrying metal pipes and clubs, half drunk, itching for a fight,” Robert said.
Though there have been tensions for years, they never thought it would turn into an invasion.
“We see places where we’ve walked, and we’ve spent much time in Harcov in that center,” KLynn said.
Robert added, “We have happy memories of that place.”
“And happy memories of there and then to see…” KLynn said.
“We feel violated when these bombs come and drop,” Robert said. “It’s a personal violation.”
KLynn said, “The Ukrainians love their freedom, and they will fight for their freedom.”
But amidst the heartache — a bright spot.
“You just look at her face and she brings joy,” KLynn said of their granddaughter, Rosie Hardy, who was adopted four years ago from an orphanage in Ukraine.
“The world is open to her,” said Mindy Hardy, Rosie’s mother, who also lives in Midway. “She is the light, definitely. She’s brought a level of joy and love that I don’t think we were capable of without her.”
The Lochheads now pray for peace.
“Just that Ukraine would be recognized as a sovereign nation, and they’re trying to build a democracy. It takes time,” KLynn said.
“We love the Russian people. We love the Russian culture,” Robert said. “We have very happy memories there. Moscow was our home.”
For both countries that once brought them such joy, now bring so much pain.
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