NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A Ukrainian living in North Little Rock feels the heartbreak of war differently as she watches her home be attacked from a continent away.

Marina – who goes by the name Marina Amdream – is still trying to wrap her head around the chaos. She’s been in Arkansas for 13 years, but her mother is still in Ukraine near the border as war strikes.

Amdream skypes her daily, checking in and getting updates from the ground. The latest – 57 civilians dead, 169 injured in just the first 17 hours. The soldier count is unknown.  

“It’s like a movie,” Amdream said. “It’s like it’s not real.”

She says she doesn’t understand the reasoning behind the invasion and explained how compassionate and peaceful Ukrainians are.

“We didn’t do anything to anybody,” she said. “We are just living our lives, go to work, go home, you know, be with our families and then you invade us?”

On her latest phone call with her mom, who wished to keep her identity a secret, she explained what she was seeing. The town that she’s in hasn’t been hit directly; but Thursday, residents were placed under a state of emergency and ordered to locate the nearest bomb shelter.

Amdream hears from those on the frontlines that major transportation hubs are being targeted, even civilian areas.

“They started bombing hospitals,” she said. “They’re kidnapping our soldiers already….we just hope that the whole world is going to stand up against this man [Putin] before it gets any worse.”

She and her mom wanted to thank Americans for their support, from President Biden and the federal government sending military aid and imposing sanctions, to normal everyday citizens voicing their heartbreak over the devastation and sending their prayers.

“your support, American and Arkansan support, gives us strength to fight,” Amdream said.