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The “90 Day Fiancé” star, who is 27, lives in Covingon, Louisiana. She’s lived in the United States for two and a half years and was just weeks away from visiting her native country and bringing along her 18-month-old daughter for the first time.
Those plans have been foiled, and she’s now scrambling to assist loved ones overseas amid Russia’s invasion.
“It’s honestly really hard for me because, yes, I do live in the United States now, but Ukraine, it is my home,” Dufren said in an interview with Fox News Digital Thursday. “I love my country, and it’s just so hard for me to even think that in 2022, in this world right now, war still exists, and people can kill other people for land and money.”
Dufren said some friends in Ukraine she’s spoken with over the phone recalled waking up to explosions early Thursday.
“My friends are calling me all the time. I just talked to my friend, and she’s like, ‘Yara, I’m so scared. I’m hearing the bombs. I’m hearing the explosions. I don’t want to hear the noise,'” she said.
Dufren added that she’s also concerned with 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’s not enough food anymore,” she said.
“I just couldn’t sleep. It’s so hard for me to take it because it’s my country and my friends live there, and they don’t know what to do,” the reality TV star continued.
Fortunately, Dufren said, her family lives near the border of Hungary and has not been close to the explosions. Still, one of her biggest fears is that her nephew could be called to join the military.
“My sister has a child. He’s almost 18. He’s at the age where they can take him to join the army. He’s a kid. He doesn’t know how to protect himself. He will not survive over there. It’s my biggest fear that they will come and take him,” she said.
Others are turning to crime. Fleeing the city by vehicle has proven to be difficult, she said.
“They can’t drive somewhere because there’s a big jam and nobody can move and get out. My friends called and said others tried to steal money and stuff because they’re just in a panic. People are trying to save their families and kids,” she said.
The Ukrainian-born star added that she’s thankful to be in America but is worried about what’s to come should the crisis escalate.
“I’m honestly grateful to be here right now, but at the same time, I am scared, too. Of course, it’s made me scared what’s going to happen here. We never know,” Dufren said.
The star also shared a message for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Vladimir Putin, and the people you know, stop whatever you’re doing. We’re living in 2022. War shouldn’t exist at this time. We should be living a normal life. Normal people shouldn’t die for money and land. This is ridiculous,” she said.
As for what Americans and others around the world can do, Dufren simply asked for prayers.
“Pray for the people who live in Ukraine right now. They cannot get anything. I can’t even transfer money to them – it doesn’t work. For now, we need to pray. I’m just hoping everything will be good, and they will understand that war shouldn’t exist right now,” she said.