CHARLOTTE, NC. — There’s a photo of Matt Thacker’s wife gazing at one of the airports attacked by the Russian Army in Kyiv. She’s sitting in the apartment they bought two years ago. Construction just finished, but they weren’t able to move in. WCCB spoke to Thacker while he and his wife left Kyiv, heading to western Ukraine. The Charlotte native and UNC Charlotte graduate haven’t slept or showered in two days. He only has what he could fit in a bag.
“I’m OK now. The last two days were really intense. I felt like I couldn’t even breathe,” Thacker says.
In Kyiv, there are empty grocery shelves, long lines, and people crowding subway stations for shelter. Thacker says Thursday night; he huddled in this bomb shelter in his apartment.
“We were in a shelter, and they just conducted a bombing raid in one of the planes that were shot down by Ukraine’s air defense system hit a civilian building, that building was behind ours. So we heard, saw, smelt, and felt that.”
That attack prompted them to leave. Now, he doesn’t know if he’ll ever be able to go back.
“I know that there’s a lot of sadness right now; there’s a lot of tears, a lot of uncertainty. That’s the biggest thing. No one really knows what the next day is going to bring. So they sort of live in this on interrupted fear. And that’s what sort of the hardest part.”