‘This city is bombed, destroyed’: Ukrainians in San Antonio plea for help during meeting with Rep. Joaquin Castro

Ukrainians living in San Antonio are hoping to have their voices heard in Washington, D.C. A total of six women who represent the local nonprofit Ukrainian San Antonio met directly with Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) on Friday.

They wanted to share their concerns and frustrations with the war in their native country. They are looking for any answers to help loved ones back home.

“I keep in touch with my friends who are hiding. They are scared and living in constant fear,” said Viktoriya Lundblade.

Lundblade said her hometown of Kharkiv has been leveled by Russian bombing. It’s one of many areas under a constant Russian assault.

“You see a beautiful city, people dancing. Right now, this city is bombed, destroyed,” said Lundblade.

Castro hosted the roundtable discussion and wanted to reassure these women their pleas are being heard.

“I wanted to let them know that I’m listening and congress is listening,” said Castro. “I know they are speaking in very desperate voices, because a lot of them have family members still there.”

These women are seeking harsher sanctions on Russia.

“The United States is stepping up its military support, also imposing very severe sanctions on (President) Putin and Russia,” said Castro.

Castro said he is also working with Missouri Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO) to impose social and cultural sanctions in Russia, along with a way to help refugees.

“I’m going to take this conversation and speak to other lawmakers in Washington. There’s been talk of a humanitarian corridor for people fleeing the country to have a safe route out, so they aren’t in danger of being hit by Russian fire,” said Castro.

These women just hope they can one day travel back to the Ukraine they once called home.

“Please stop this war. I want to go back to my hometown, which is already bombed, and I want to see my people,” said Lundblade.