SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Ukrainian native who now lives in Tennessee has returned to his roots to help out, despite all the bombings in Kyiv.
On Monday, News 2 spoke to Sergey Rakhuba who’s been in Ukraine on a humanitarian mission trip. While Rakhuba was being interviewed, explosions could be heard in the background, just a couple of miles away from him.
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“We hear them, a few explosions every two to three minutes. We hear them in a distance, and apparently that’s where… I just heard it right now. I don’t know if you can hear that, so that’s the explosions we hear. That’s what is happening right now while I’m talking to you,” Rakhuba said.
Constant explosions and destruction happening all around Ukraine every day is how Rakhuba described his tour with Mission Eurasia. Their mission: deliver humanitarian aid to those in Ukraine.
Rakhuba, who was born and raised in Ukraine, and is the president of Mission Eurasia, an organization based out of Franklin, happened to be in Irpin this weekend, just outside of Kyiv, where the explosions hit on Saturday.
“We heard the sirens. Actually, they came and went off a little later when the explosions happened. So we were roughly I don’t know, maybe five to seven miles away,” Rakhuba said.
However, a bigger tragedy happened the same day over in Dnipro, when the Ukrainian Security Service said a Russian missile strike on an apartment building killed at least 40 people, making it one of the deadliest single attacks of the war, and the deadliest in months.
“People were having an enjoyous weekend with their families and children, and the missile came right into the heart, the center of the large apartment building, destroying their homes, their apartments, destroying lives and it’s just heartbreaking,” Rakhuba said.
Thankfully, Rakhuba and his group are safe, but his hometown of Zaporizhzhia has not been.
“For me, it just breaks my heart to see the destruction, the pain, tragedy. They keep shelling this periodically, every week, so they hit any objects in the city, especially the infrastructure,” Rakhuba said.
According to Rakhuba, this past weekend was a stark reminder of the constant danger for those living in Ukraine.
“To say we were scared, we were a little concerned honestly saying. But we were more concerned for people, and people that live this every day, day to day. Nobody knows where Russia will target which apartment building they will target next, which community they will shell again, and which city they are planning now to target. Nobody knows where Russian missiles will target next, and that’s the fear that everybody has,” Rakhuba said.
Rakhuba will continue his tour of Ukraine, Moldova, and Poland this week to deliver basic needs to people who are trapped in liberated villages from the Russian army, before returning home to Spring Hill.