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Russian invasion of Ukraine: 50 days later


Today marked 50 days since the invasion of Russia in Ukraine.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 10:28 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A man explains to News4 Thursday how his family has been given a fresh start after escaping Ukraine.

Thursday marks 50 days since Russia started invading Ukraine. News4 has talked to many people in Middle Tennessee with family in Ukraine throughout the course of this and got an update about how those peoples’ families are doing.

About a month and a half ago, News4 sat down with an Austin Peay University professor who was heading to Europe to help move his family out of Ukraine. His family has now moved to two different countries since this all began.

Andriy Kovalskiy’s family is getting a fresh start in a new country. “They are very happy with the people but not happy with the weather,” Kovalskiy said. “All the time, raining, raining, raining.”

Ireland is where his daughter, son-in-law, and three grandkids just moved. It’s more than a thousand miles from their home in Lviv, Ukraine. It is the first time they’ve ever been.

“They are happy from the point of how Irish people are welcoming Ukrainians,” Kovalskiy said. “They gave them a lot of support. Kids started school almost immediately.”

The family first went to Slovakia, where Kovalskiy traveled last month for a week to help get them settled. Then from Slovakia, they moved to Ireland to be near friends who promised them jobs. They’re living at a hotel for free as they look for a home and wait to begin work.

“Most of Ukrainians are in a much, much worse situation,” Kovalskiy said. “That is an exceptional situation that they found a way to get a job and live in relative safety.”

Kovalskiy said his wife went back to Lviv to help those displaced, as the Austin Peay State University professor stays here in Middle Tennessee. News4 talked to him Thursday evening before he went to the Preds game.

“For me, it is good to go to some kind of game or something.” Kovalskiy said. “You cannot be all the time concentrated on war.”

Kovalskiy said while his family does want to return home to Ukraine, they must move on. “They want to go back to their house and everything, but they cannot wait,” Kovalskiy said.

News4 also talked to one family in Murfreesboro, the Bensons, who were trying to adopt a child from Ukraine. They told us Thursday that they heard briefly from the child last week, but they are still at a standstill in the adoption process.

We also met a Cumberland University student, Lina Young, with family in Mykolayiv, Ukraine. She said they are alive but lost their home.

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