PHILADELPHIA - The husband of a Ukrainian woman shared the story of his wife's harrowing escape from her war-torn homeland as Vladimir Putin's Russian army commenced a full-fledged invasion two weeks ago.
Sean Moir and Valentyna Levytsky traveled to Ukraine in January, 6 months after the couple was married at a summer ceremony in Kyiv. Valentyna stayed behind to take care of her mother, Nadia, who was ill with late-stage Parkinson's disease.
Nadia's condition got progressively worse just as Russia started its long-threatened invasion of Ukraine, Moir explained. He said Valentyna stayed with her mother through bomb blasts and small arms fire right outside her window.
The pair fled to western Ukraine but on Tuesday Nadia died and was laid to rest at a family burial site.
Valentyna Levytsky made it back to the United States after fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
"There were family members present a priest but no church service. It was difficult to find men to dig the grave because they were all preparing to defend the country," Sean said.
Valentyna started the dangerous trek to Poland, where millions of Ukrainian refugees have fled. Sean tracked her every move by using her phone's GPS location.
Understandably drained from her journey across her war-torn homeland, Valentyna reunited with Sean Thursday in Philadelphia.
"Our firm belief is that Ukraine will win this war and she and I will go back," Sean said.
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