Ukrainian mother, daughter arrive to Houston for refuge, husband and son remain in Ukraine

A Ukrainian family is now taking refuge in Houston after leaving their home in Kyiv about two weeks ago.

"We decided, with my husband, to save one child if we could," said Katyryna Krezhenstovska. "It’s really hard."

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Krezhenstovska and her 12-year-old daughter arrived to Texas about one week ago.  However, Krezhenstovska’s husband and their 19-year-old son are still in Ukraine defending their home country.

"One of my children stayed there," said Krezhenstovska. "It’s impossible to describe.  It’s just really scary."

Krezhenstovska left home about two weeks ago. According to the Ukrainian mother, she decided to leave with her daughter for safety as Russian bombs dropped closer to their house.

"What can you do?" said Krezhenstovska. "If it falls on your house, that’s it."


Krezhenstovska’s close friend, Yana Kristal, lives in Houston. Kristal was born in Ukraine, but moved to the United States when she was young. A few weeks ago, Kristal invited Krezhenstovska to Houston.

"We had such an [amazing] opportunity to save our child and come to Houston," said Krezhenstovska. "Yana invited us. We decided to go to Houston and be [safe] here."

"The hardest part for me, is just seeing the destruction of the country," said Kristal.  "Since the war started, the [Krezhenstovskas] spent some time hiding in various underground places. I said look, I’ll do whatever it takes to get you over here."

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The journey for Krezhenstovska and her 12-year-old daughter from Kyiv to Houston was long and dangerous. According to Krezhenstovska, it took them about a week to make the journey.

"We were like a moving target for the Russian army," said Krezhenstovska. "We have permission [to stay in Texas] for six months. My hope is the war will stop, but who knows."

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Krezhenstovska and her daughter are now safe in Houston. The Ukranian mother says she’s constantly checking on her husband and son who are now defending their home country.

"When I wake up, first what I do, I try to send them a message and ask how are you," said Krezhenstovska. "As usual, they hear bombing, but not in our house."