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Greg Palkot reports from Bucha, Ukraine

Two years on since Russia invaded Ukraine Fox News senior foreign affairs correspondent Greg Palkot reports from Bucha, the site of a brutal massacre by Russian troops against the local population.

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KYIV – It was my seventh trip to Ukraine since the war began two years ago. And never have I felt a more somber mood in Kyiv and in the surroundings.

Gone was the surge of energy and enthusiasm of the first year. When Ukrainian forces craftily beat back lumbering Russian columns trying to take over Kyiv.

And then also skillfully staged a counteroffensive in the northeastern Kherson region.

And down south in Kherson. 

Also gone was the hope of the second year when vast amounts of U.S. and Western aid poured into Ukraine. And all anticipated a new major surge of Ukrainian troops that might have split the Russian occupying forces in two.


Fox News' Greg Palkot standing with camera man and woman by cemetery in Kyiv

Many have lost their loved ones during the war between Russia and Ukraine. (Fox News’ Greg Palkot)

It never happened.

Which leads us to this third year. When Russia is occupying a big chunk of Ukrainian real estate in the southeastern portion of the country… is making more inroads into Ukrainian-held land… as Western military aid… in particular U.S. aid… is very much up in the air.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has made it very clear in a number of media appearances that without the $60 billion of weaponry now stuck on Capitol Hill, more Ukrainians would die.

And even with it… this year might be a tough slog as Russia both digs in and throws more troops into the fray.

That’s the battlefield survey. 

Cemetery in Kyiv with flags

A cemetery in Kyiv, Ukraine (Fox News’ Greg Palkot)

My own unscientific opinion polling came up with the same thing. People here are tired of war. They’ve already made many sacrifices. They are very worried they will have to make a lot more.

One young lady I spoke with at a Kyiv memorial told me “so many of my friends have died, so many friends have moved to another country, and for more than two years I can’t see anyone.”


Fox News' Greg Palkot pictured up close with cemetery and flags behind him in Kyiv

Fox News’ Greg Palkot stands by the cemetery in Kyiv. (Fox News’ Greg Palkot)

Another, in tears, told me, “I pray for Ukraine every day… and I think you should help us.”

We took a trip to Bucha, one of the towns near Kyiv hit hardest early on by the Russians. It looked much better now. Streets clean. Buildings fixed up.  

But even those in charge admitted the improvements were only superficial.    

The mayor told us “on the outside you see it’s renovated… but inside it’s still hard.”

And the head priest told us, “The Russians were here just a short time, but we remember them vividly.”

The hardest thing I do every time I’m here is go to a cemetery outside of Kyiv. To feel the real impact of the war. In the six months since we’d last been there, 200 more military graves had been added.

We spoke with several families who were so shattered they didn’t mind speaking to us.

One was giving their lost 27-year-old soldier a 28th birthday party. “He was everything to me,” his widow told us.

Man in military uniform stands with woman next to a small child surrounded by the flag memorial in Kyiv

A soldier in uniform, with a woman and a small child, stand by the flag memorial in Kyiv. (Fox News’ Greg Palkot)

Another family had to live with their son and husband missing for a year and half before it was confirmed he was dead.


The aunt of still another fallen soldier screamed her pain at the Russian invading forces. “Who do they think they’re liberating… what are they liberating?”

And one more mother, in a loud tearful scream, begged America to send more aid. “What are they waiting for,” she asked plaintively, “for all of us to die?”

At the hotel where we stay every time in Kyiv, the staff feel like family. One receptionist told me of her brother in the army having his hand injured. Another told me that at least they had electricity and water this winter. And another just sighed about the war seemingly without end.

No one I spoke with wants to give up. No one wants to call it quits.    

As the Kyiv mayor, former boxer Vitali Klitschko, told me, “Failure is not an option.”

And as Member of Parliament Kira Rudik told me, “We exist, we are here, we are alive, we are fighting.”

Kyiv flag memorial, many little flags

A woman looks at the photographs and flags at the Kyiv memorial. (Fox News’ Greg Palkot)

But even if President Zelenskyy says he has a plan for the future, no one knows exactly that is. More drones? More long-range missiles? A new call-up of troops to man freshly dug defensive lines?

No one knows because President Putin is still holding a lot of the cards. And he doesn’t seem to be ready to end his deadly game anytime soon.  

As he waits for the West to tire. Europe lately has been stepping up its backing. The big question for many people here is, what will the U.S. do? Will it continue to back Ukraine’s battle?


Fox News' Greg Palkot pictured up close, stands in front of Irpin Bridge

Fox News’ Greg Palkot in front of the Irpin Bridge. (Fox News’ Greg Palkot)

If U.S. help dries up…. most here acknowledge… that would be a game changer… for the worst.

And so the brave and courageous Ukrainians hang in there. And hope for the best… at this grimmest of times.

Greg Palkot currently serves as a London-based senior foreign affairs correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 1998 as a correspondent. Follow him on Twitter@GregPalkot.

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