Lexington native living in Kyiv describes toll of Russian invasion on Ukrainians

Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 18:32:29-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — When Lexington native Joe Bradley's software development job went remote a few years ago, he asked, 'How far remote can I go'?

The former Russian and East European studies major at the University of Kentucky has a passion for the language and culture, so he decided Kyiv would be his new home.

He said he moved there at the beginning of 2020. Last November, he came home to Lexington for the holidays.

He was in the middle of planning a trip back to Ukraine when Russia invaded.

"When I saw it, I just sort of shrank," Bradley said.

He said his friend Anastasia was forced to flee with nowhere to go.


"She was in Kyiv in the metro when sirens were going off, and she found a train and went west and has made it to Slovakia," he said.

A few other friends got out too.


Others are staying behind and could be called on to fight.

"I don't know how you from one day playing chess with your friend or going to a coffee shop or riding a bike or working a job to essentially fleeing and waiting to see what's next and not knowing whether you're going to have to flee or fight or worse," he said.

Now, on his friends' behalf and on behalf of a country he has grown to love, he is asking for help.

"I think for the average Ukrainian at this point, they need moral support," he said. "They need financial support. They need to know that the world is behind them."

A list of charities focused on helping Ukraine, that have been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, can be found here.