Grand Canyon junior center Dima Zdor has tried to maintain a routine, a mix of schoolwork, practice and games. His attention for all the other hours in the day is halfway across the world.

One of a handful of Ukrainians playing college basketball in the United States, Zdor can only watch from afar in Phoenix as Russian troops roll through his home country and hope his family and friends remain safe.

“I watch a lot of news from back home and it’s just upsetting how little villages and towns are getting destroyed and overtaken, just for the reason of politics,” he said. “It’s sad. It’s scary. It’s uncomfortable to open Twitter or watch the news every day and be scared of what’s going on there that could affect my family, friends or team back home.”

Russia’s invasion has taken a massive toll across Ukraine as bombs pound cities in the Eastern European country. More than 1 million people have fled the country as Russian forces advance, millions more are stuck in the crossfire, many hiding underground.

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