From combat to computers: Upstate man says loved ones in Ukraine join fight against Russia

The fight in Ukraine is hitting home for some people living in the Upstate
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 1:24 AM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Greenville, SC (FOX Carolina) – The attack against Ukraine hits home for some people living in the Upstate.

A Greenville man shares his story about his parents living in the middle of the war zone in Kyiv.

“My parents still live in Kyiv and are now in Kyiv under the fallen bombs,” Andrew Butenko said.

Andrew Butenko grew up in Ukraine. He moved to Greenville with his wife five years ago. Most of their loved ones still live in Kyiv.

“The bomb that landed into the multistory building and blew up a few apartment complex, this building is two blocks away from the hospital where I was born and my wife was born,” Butenko said, “It is approximately five blocks away from the house of my parents, where they are now.”

His family is planning to stay.

“They said this is our land. This is our country. We won’t go anywhere. We refuse to leave. My father tried to join the militia, but he was not taken. He’s too old,” Butenko said.

Some of his friends have joined civilian militias, while others are fighting against Russia through cyber-attacks online.

“They all have own duties. Some with machine guns in their hands. Some with laptops doing their IT work,” Butenko said, “They have never served in military so they have pretty much not a lot of experience but they fight for their land and they’re doing it right.”

Andrew said he feels helpless. “They don’t have electricity anymore, so internet doesn’t work. It’s not possible to get in touch with them.

He compares the feeling to the way Americans felt after the September 11 attacks.

“I didn’t know what to say to people who I know from the States. I was just speechless. Now imagine that pretty much the same is happening all over the country,” Butenko said, “It’s not only fallen planes. Its bombshells, tanks, mistle systems. It’s just insane.”

Butenko plans to organize a peace rally in the coming days.