JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Millions of people in Ukraine are struggling to leave their country as Russian armies continue to close in on some of the country's most important cities.
So far, about 150,000 people have left the country in about three days. One of those is Jacksonville-native Kathy Gould.
Gould worked as a missionary in Ukraine for 25 years, however, the war caused her to flee her work.
She recently left Ukraine into Poland and then to Amsterdam. Then, she caught a flight across the Atlantic into Atlanta and finally to Jacksonville. She arrived home late Saturday night.
"Bringing people together, helping each other, I've never seen Ukraine so united," Gould said. "They're fighting for their lives, their country. They're a peace-loving people. This was not their choosing."
After weeks of mobilization, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced military operations in Ukraine Thursday morning in Moscow, effectively declaring war on the country.
The move has received international criticism, resulting in heavy sanctions from the United States and much of Europe.