'This is my homeland': Ukrainian journalist joins army to fight against Russian invasion

"Because this is my country, because this is my homeland. Because in Ukraine, my family lives."

Yuriy Matsarsky only needed one day to make the decision to fight for his country. He was not only a journalist in Ukraine for more than 20 years, but a war correspondent.

"Everything I love is in Ukraine," Matsarsky said. "It’s completely different story from Iraq - from Syria - from Gaza Strip - Egypt - Central Asia. So this is my country."

So he gave up the only career he's known and turned in his pen and paper for a gun.

"I painted the huge white letters PRESS - I painted it black. So that’s how my press helmet - my journalist helmet became my war helmet," said Matsarsky.

On Day 2 of the invasion, he became a soldier, defending his home from the Russians. No one is safe - not even journalists.

New York Times journalist Brent Renaud was killed in that attack. Juan Arredondo, a veteran journalist and former visiting professor at Arizona State University was lucky to make it out alive.

"We crossed the first bridge in Irpin - we were going to film other refugees leaving and we got into a car," Arredondo said. "Somebody offered to take us to the other bridge, and we crossed a checkpoint and they started shooting at us."

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Yuriy knows the Russians aren't fighting fair.

"They don’t make a difference between military objects, military installations and civilian installations," Matsarsky said. "No, they’re just firing sometimes at random, at peaceful Ukrainian citizens, killing children, killing women, killing old people."

Now in a civilian unit, protecting the professional troops, he won't stop at anything.

"Me and my comrades, we are going to stay until a victory," said Matsarsky.

Yuriy also says the food, money - clothing -- ammunition -- all donations from Americans they are getting and they are so thankful for them. He is asking people to keep sending what they can -- and reach out to politicians to help on a larger scale. 

This story was reported on from Phoenix.

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