Popular Final Fantasy 14 streamer prepares to flee Ukraine in response to threat of Russian invasion
One of Final Fantasy XIV’s most famous anchors talks about her plans to flee Ukraine after a possible Russian invasion.
Zepla is originally from Louisiana, USA, but has lived in Ukraine for about eight years and currently resides in Kiev. She’s been streaming all things Final Fantasy XIV for the past five years, gaining 300,000 subscribers on her main YouTube channel and 200,000 followers on Twitch. She’s a very wholesome content creator, often giving tips to new players or gushing about her love for Vieira, one of the game’s playable races. But in late January, she tackled a more serious topic — the danger to Kiev residents and the fact that she may need to leave soon.
“There may be a day soon when I may need to ask the community for help,” she told her audience during one of her regular broadcasts. She detailed the growing Russian military on the Ukrainian border and the growing tensions between the two countries.
She had been preparing to leave, although it wasn’t as easy as lifting a stick and returning to America. “I have a home here,” she told the audience. “I have my dog, Nora, and my cat, Tallulah.” She’s currently working on pet passports for both, although bringing pets into the United States from Ukraine is a bit tricky. “Ukraine is considered a high-risk rabies country for dogs,” she said. “That means I need to do a lot of extra paperwork and have to complete a very specific timetable to get the dog out of Ukraine and into the US.”
Following the livestream, Zepla spoke with VICE Waypoint and said that “everything is normal” was the “most disturbing thing” about getting ready to leave. “At least in a hurricane, you can see the clouds overhead and you know something is coming. It’s pretty obvious,” she said. “You can feel it in the wind, you can feel it in the air in the rain. You can see the lightning on the horizon. But here, it’s still a beautiful, sunny day. Everyone is doing their own thing. business as usual.”
Now, Zepla says her plan is to pack up and head west once she gets her pet passport. Last week, she received a COVID booster, she joked It’s “so I don’t get the plague when I’m fleeing the war.”
“Right now I’m trying to take all the necessary precautions and be ready to leave,” she said at the end of her January broadcast. “That’s what I need to do right now.” She said she would still be on air, wearing pink bunny ears for her viewers. “I plan to continue streaming as much as possible. I’ll be stopping at Airbnbs and hotels, and I’ll be streaming the whole thing.”
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