As they deal with heartbreak, watching Russia invade their home country, the Ukrainian community in the Baltimore area is dealing with a tragedy of its own.
Baltimore County Police are investigating vandalized tombstones at the St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church Cemetery in Dundalk, Maryland.
This isn't the first time the cemetery has experienced vandalism in recent years.
“It was horrible to see on the same day that Russia is invading our homeland, hoodlums and ignorant people are desecrating our loved ones' monuments,” said Steve Humeniuk, who was visiting the cemetery.
The church is working to repair tombstones and monuments that were vandalized.
“It’s so upsetting. It’s hard for me to express in words,” said Marianne Crouch, another visitor of the cemetery.
“It’s senseless. I just don’t understand why someone would do something like this. It serves no purpose. It hurts many people. I’m at a loss for words,” said Adrian Sushko, who went to survey the damage on Sunday.
Sushko also had family back in Ukraine. His parents fled to Poland but distant relatives remain in the country.
“They’re currently in one of the subways just hunkering down, not knowing what to do, with a small child,” said Sushko.
He wants to see more of the NATO nations step up to provide arms assistance and humanitarian aid.
“And realize this isn’t just harm being done to one country but this is something that can affect everybody and it’s an assault on our democracy so I think everyone has a vested interest to do whatever they can do to stop this madness,” said Sushko.
This story was originally published by Abby Isaacs of WMAR in Baltimore, Maryland.