The Ukrainian Myrtle Beach family is responding to the Russian invasion



When Lizaveta Malnichuk woke up on Wednesday morning, she thanked her friend for the good text with a prayer.

Prayers appreciated.

When she went to bed the night before, she knew that tensions between Russia and her family, Ukraine, were escalating.

The next day, when she checked out social media, she saw that what she feared most had happened.

Russia invaded while she slept.

“I understand that there was a full-scale attack on Ukraine,” she said. “It was scary. I was shocked. “

Malnichuk’s parents and sisters grew up in Ukraine. They moved to the United States more than 30 years ago at a time when life in Eastern Europe was becoming more difficult under the Soviet Union.

Malnichuk, now a first-grade teacher at Myrtle Beach Elementary School, grew up in Philadelphia, speaking Ukrainian and attending Ukrainian dances.

“Wonderful country,” said her mother Larissa. “I still love the country because I grew up there.”

Its beauty is part of what prevents seeing the country under attack, Larissa said.

“I could not understand what was happening,” she said on Friday. “I call my family all the time. Thank God, they have the Internet and have a connection with me. “

There are many Malnichuk families in the village of Korets.

They hide in basements, trying to get food in almost empty grocery stores and plan to escape from a place they call home.

In Myrtle Beach, Malnichuk can only watch and wait with anxiety.

“You feel helpless, in a way,” Elizabeth said.

“Now there is nowhere to go safely in Ukraine.”

While they have been able to keep in touch with family, uncertainty is growing.

“It’s the worst thing,” said Elizabeth, “that you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

When Elizabeth focuses on the future, Larissa remains attached to a part of the past.

Growing up, she remembers hearing stories from her grandparents about World War II.

Her grandfather was a military man, and still carried a bullet shot in the back.

As the current war spreads, it makes Larissa remember her grandfather’s stories about that previous war.

“Now for me it’s like a flashback,” she said. “I couldn’t understand, couldn’t believe what was happening.”

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Mary Norcol covers education and COVID-19 for The Sun News through Report for America, an initiative that promotes local news coverage. She joined The Sun News in June 2020 after graduating from Loyola University in Chicago, where she was the editor-in-chief of Loyola Phoenix. Norkol has received awards in podcasting, multimedia reporting, in-depth reporting and art reporting from the South Carolina Press Association and the Illinois College College Press Association. While in college, she reported the latest news to the Daily Herald and was an intern at the Chicago Sun-Times and CBS Chicago.

The Ukrainian Myrtle Beach family is responding to the Russian invasion

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