HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – As the Russian invasion into Ukraine continues, one woman was able to escape the conflict and reunite with her family in Arkansas.
We first introduced you to Sergey Polyakov last month. He was trying to get his mother-in-law, Asiia Kochurova, out of Ukraine and to Hot Springs where he lives now.
“This is really hard time for our family for all Ukrainians,” Polyakov said. “Every hour was waiting for some news.”
The war destroyed entire cities and made the road to safety a little more complicated.
“Everyone wonders ‘why didn’t she just drive through to Poland. It’s easy. It’s just straight.’ No, because some bridges are destroyed. Somewhere there’s shooting,” Polyakov said.
With the help of people in the Natural State and abroad they were able to get her out of the war-torn country and to Arkansas.
“I have some friends they help to give her house, food and everything,” Polyakov said. “Thanks to Hot Springs community and Arkansas we have this wonderful woman right here and she is safe.”
That joy is also mixed with sadness.
“When it was thunder storming, she woke up thinking it was a shooting because it’s in memories,” Polyakov said.
It’s not just what she’s experienced in her home country, but some family members are still in the midst of the conflict.
“She’s feeling good here where its safe, but the heart is still in Ukraine and it’s a painful Ukraine,” Polyakov translates for Kochurova.
As she makes the transition to her new life in Hot Springs, the entire family is praying peace comes soon.
“She hopes the war finishes sooner. A lot of Ukrainians who left the country will plan to come back because they love their country and they need to rebuild this country,” Polyakov translates for Kochurova.
Kochurova said she would like to go back to Ukraine when the war ends but Polyakov said he hopes she will stay in Arkansas with his family.