Man describes being in 'survival mode' amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine

"Help Ukraine be better."

Those are the words from Ruslan Shimon. He is a 32-year-old citizen of both Ukraine and the United States. He lives with his large family in Odessa.

"It seems like every day, things are escalating bit by bit," Shimon said of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. "We got this. We’ll take care of this. Hope Europe joins in and backs us up and we can go back to a normal state of living."

Get your top stories delivered daily! Sign up for FOX 11’s Fast 5 newsletter. And, get breaking news alerts in the FOX 11 News app. Download for iOS or Android.

Shimon was in the Carpathian Mountains when he spoke with FOX 11. As we spoke, we could hear sirens blaring where Shimon was.

"Ten minutes ago," Shimon said. "The sirens went off in the city right next to us in the mountains."

Like many others, he hopped a train. It took 15 hours to get to the mountains from Odessa. 

"You have people in bunkers crying feeling afraid. Kids with their mothers and fathers going off to war. It’s horrifying. It’s not something someone wants to hear. People can’t get out of the city. Everything is jam-packed. It feels surreal," he said.

Seemingly anxious, he says he’s in survival mode. 

"This is 24 hour pressure. My normal day is taking care of the family, business… movement. Right now it is survival mode because we don’t know the next second is going to hold," Shimon said.

Then at 3:24 p.m. in Los Angeles’ pacific standard time Monday, Shimon received the following texts:


His thoughts on the latest updates?

"Heartbroken," Shimon said. "Will leave to the airport tomorrow."

As for a message for viewers before crossing into Romania, Shimon offered the following words:

"Support each other. Love each other. The world is changing."

Tune in to FOX 11 Los Angeles for the latest Southern California news.