From the Ukrainian natives organizing prayer vigils, to bars pulling Russian vodka off of the shelves- Montanans are showing support for the Ukrainian people.

We got the first hand perspective of a native of Ukraine who now lives in Montana. One of our great radio listeners who has jumped in on the on-air conversations from time to time is Oxana in Billings. She has been living in Montana for about three years now, and has been in the United States for about 8 years.

Oxana and her fellow Ukrainian friend Yuliya joined us in studio to talk about the Russian invasion.

Oxana: It breaks my heart to see what's happening right now. I haven't slept for two days, because obviously we are just- it's night here when they start bombing in Ukraine. So I'm like constantly on the phone, on the news, talking to my family, talking to my friends, and people calling me that hysterically crying. There is no place to go. There is no way to get out of the country, everything is blocked.

As of Friday morning, Oxana's friend Yuliya says her mom has been hiding in the basement for several days since her area is totally occupied by the Russians. Oxana says her family has been safe, so far, but that the rest of the country "is totally on fire."

Oxana: It breaks my heart that nobody's helping...there was the Budapest Memorandum which was signed in 1994. Then America and Great Britain and Russia they guaranteed Ukraine that they will protect them from invasion and they guarantee that they will protect the independence of Ukraine. And right now nobody's doing anything.

Here's the full audio of our conversation with Oxana from Billings:

Credit Aaron Flint
Credit Aaron Flint

Oxana and Yuliya helped organize a prayer vigil Ukraine on Saturday night. You'll also see Montanans blanketing social media with prayers for Ukraine, or support for Ukraine in other ways.

Over the weekend, several bars also started pulling Russian vodka off of their shelves. The Divide Bar and Grill on the Billings West End shared this message on Saturday:

Starting today, the Divide Bar & Grill/ Muzzle Loader/ Powder Horn will no longer be selling Stoli Vodka or anything made or distributed from Russia. The loss of profits from these products pales tremendously in comparison to the loss of life Ukraine is currently facing. Our voice is small and we cannot fully understand the depth of what they are facing, but we believe it is so important to do whatever we can to show our support for Ukraine, even from our small businesses in Billings, MT. We stand with Ukraine 🇺🇦



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