As tensions rose in Ukraine, preceding the invasion by Russia, a local Nevada County man was in Kiev preparing to begin a new business venture and purchase an apartment. 39-year-old Blake Westman had travelled to Ukraine multiple times a year since 2012. He had arrived back in Kiev on February 10th. He says though the news of a Russian invasion was present, many residents did not believe an attack was imminent. However, Westman says the tenor began changing.
He says the next day businesses were closed and the rumor of a possible attack surfaced. As he tried to sleep the next night, he received a sign that it was time to go.
Around 5 in the morning a huge explosion rocked the neighborhood.
The next 48 to 72 hours was an incredible set of challenges as the American made his way to the Polish border.
Throughout the next couple of days, we will re-tell Blakes story, the people he met, how he was treated, and the physical conditions as he fled the country he refers to as his second home.