AURORA, Colo. — Some of the first people to leave Ukraine and seek refuge in Colorado are sharing their story of fleeing the Russian invasion. As the war continues, they watch from halfway around the world and pray their family members who stayed behind are safe.
Viktor Khmil and his sister Tatyana are together again, now in Colorado. Tatyana fled Ukraine at the start of the Russian invasion to come live in Aurora with her brother. Now Viktor helps translate the fear she’s felt over the past few months.
"Yes, it was very scary. Very scary to leave the house and everything behind," Viktor translated as Tatyana spoke in Ukrainian.
Tatyana and her mother left their home with only a small suitcase and their most important documents. They came to the US to be with Viktor.
"Her mind is still back in Ukraine with her friends, with her coworkers, family. With everything left behind, she cannot wait for the moment when she can be back home," Viktor said.
Her husband stayed behind to work to keep the power on in their city as an electrician.
"Everybody stayed in our hometown to protect our city and protect our country. We try to help as much as we can from here," Viktor translated for Tatyana.
They wait and pray, hoping that one day they’ll be able to go back home.
"Everyday when they wake up they want to go home. Their family is still in Ukraine. My mom wants to go back to her house," said Viktor.
Viktor and his family here in Colorado do everything they can to help their family still back in Ukraine. The Ukrainians of Colorado group that they work with to collect donations and supplies got a lot of support at the beginning of the war, but they worry now donations are starting to decline.
If you would like to make a donation or help Ukrainians of Colorado, you can learn more here.
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