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For local families, social media is lifeline to relatives in Ukraine

9:01 PM, Mar 2, 2014   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A University of South Florida couple is struggling to be so far from their loved ones in Ukraine.

Andrii Monastyrskyi and his wife, Kateryna, are both from the western part of Ukraine and are using Facebook to stay in touch with their families there while they worry about their safety every day.

"You pray and hope things will be okay," said Kateryna.

The last two weeks have been so intense with changes in Ukraine's capitol every day to the Russian military invading Crimea.

"Facebook has been our lifeline, we check in with our friends who go to the protests, and when I see that they are online again by looking at the active green dot on Facebook, I am relieved they are okay," said Kateryna.  

The St. Petersburg Ukrainian Catholic Church is offering its support for the couple and all its Ukraine members.

"All we want is for our families to keep the independence they have," said Andrii.

The couple said it is hard to not be there with their families and friends to support them there.

"When you sit behind the screen so far away for me one of the shocking feelings was you almost feel guilty," said Kateryna.

"You are Ukrainian, you live here, but because of whatever reasons you moved here, you have the luxury of enjoying the freedom of speech, peace on the streets, things you take that for granted."

The couple and the church are donating to those in need in Ukraine. You can email 10 News reporter Danica Lawrence at if you would like to help them donate.

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