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Reality TV star Yara Zaya has issued a heartfelt appeal to people around the world to pray for Ukraine, the country where she was born and raised.
The 27-year-old “90 Day Fiancé” star lives in Covingon, Louisiana. She has lived in the United States for two and a half years and was just weeks away from visiting her native country and bringing her 18-month-old daughter for the first time.
Those plans were foiled and she is now scrambling to help her loved ones overseas amid the Russian invasion.
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“Honestly, it’s very difficult for me because, yes, I live in the United States now, but Ukraine is my home,” Zaya said in an interview with Fox News Digital on Thursday. “I love my country, and it’s so hard for me to think that in 2022, in this world right now, war still exists and people can kill other people for land and money .”
Zaya said friends in Ukraine she spoke with on the phone remembered waking up early Thursday to explosions.
“My friends call me all the time. I just talked to my friend, and she’s like, ‘Yara, I’m so scared. I hear the bombs. I hear the explosions. I don’t want to hear the noise,” she said.
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Zaya added that she was also concerned about the lack of resources available to Ukrainians.
“They weren’t prepared. They don’t have enough water. They don’t have enough food. My sister called me and said she tried to go to the supermarket, but there is no longer enough food,” she said.
“I just couldn’t sleep. It’s so hard for me to put up with it because it’s my country and my friends live there, and they don’t know what to do,” the reality star continued, represented by Dominton Talent House.
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Fortunately, Zaya said, her family lives near the Hungarian border and has not been near the blasts. Yet one of her biggest fears is that her nephew will be called upon to join the army.
“My sister has a child. He’s almost 18. He’s the age where you can take him into the army. He’s a kid. He doesn’t know how to protect himself. He won’t survive there It’s my biggest fear that they’ll come and take it,” she said.
Others turn to crime. Fleeing the city by vehicle proved difficult, she said.
“They can’t drive somewhere because there’s a big traffic jam and no one can move and get out. My friends called and said others tried to steal money and stuff because “They were just freaking out. People are trying to save their families and their children,” she said.
The Ukrainian-born star added that she was grateful to be in America but worried about what would happen if the crisis worsened.
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“Honestly, I’m grateful to be here right now, but at the same time, I’m also scared. Of course, it scared me of what’s going to happen here. We never know,” said Zaya.
The star also shared a message for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Vladimir Putin and people you know, stop everything you are doing. We are living in 2022. War should not exist right now. We should live normal lives. Normal people should not die for money and land. It’s ridiculous,” she said.
As for what Americans and others around the world can do, Zaya simply asked for prayers.
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“Pray for the people living in Ukraine right now. They can’t get anything. I can’t even transfer money to them – it’s not working. Right now we have to pray. I just hope that everything will be fine, and they will understand that war should not exist right now,” she said.