MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – As war wages in Ukraine, as a 40-mile Russian tank convoy storms to Kyiv, as shelling continues in an invasion that has sparked global outrage, Nikita Persson does his best to learn whatever news he can.

A 2024 linebacker from San Diego Cathedral Catholic, Persson’s mother was born and raised in Russia. His grandfather was born in Ukraine. His grandparents and other family members still live in a small city outside St. Petersburg.

The last several days have been stressful, to say the least, for Persson and his family – in the United States and abroad.

“They’ve been cutting off forms of communication and banks, so it’s been hard to get the real information besides what’s on the news,” Persson said Sunday at the Rivals Camp Series at East Los Angeles College. “It’s been pretty hard on my mother and her side of the family. We have friends who are in Russia and Ukraine. There’s just not enough information to get the truth, but obviously it’s terrible what’s going on.”

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Although communication has been difficult, Persson’s mother continues to attempt to reach family members back in Russia.

Every passing hour brings new horrors, new uncertainty, new reporting about what’s happening in Moscow, what’s happening in Kyiv and across the region. Finding out the realities on the ground from loved ones there has been challenging.

“My mother usually talks to them,”…

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