LOS ANGELES — This week, Anastasiia Chuba took the ultimate steps in her 10-day journey. She had been travelling from Kyiv, Ukraine, to Los Angeles with her daughter Sasha and her mother Olga.
It was a grueling trip.
What You Need To Know
- Anastasiia Chuba and her family arrived in LA after a grueling 10-day journey from Ukraine
- They are staying with close family friends in Los Angeles for the time being, away from the war that continues to rage
- Close to 3 million Ukrainians have left the country so far
- The Biden administration has given Ukrainian residents already in the U.S. temporary protective status
“[There were tanks on the roads] between cities, they were just shooting in cars, kids, people, doesn’t matter. We were driving all day without stopping. No stops at all, no toilet, no food, no water, just driving fast,” Chuba said.
They are staying with close family friends in Los Angeles for the time being, away from the war that continues to rage in Ukraine.
Chuba’s husband, father and uncles have remained in the country. Men aged 18 to 60 may not leave Ukraine because of the military draft. Her father drove them from their hometown of Kyiv to the border of Slovakia and then drove back.
She said Kyiv has been decimated.
“It looks like hell. Bombing, always gunshots, buildings have been destroyed. There are a lot of dead people. A lot of my friends now don’t have houses or apartments,” she said.
From the border of Ukraine and Slovakia, Chuba, her mother and 4-year-old Sasha took a bus to Prague, then made their way to Amsterdam and finally Los Angeles.
In Ukraine, Chuba and her husband had a health food company, selling dried fruits, nuts and superfoods online.
They also have a house. Now, she’s unsure what will remain.
“I know nothing. I don’t know if I will have my home. I don’t know If I will see my family, my friends,” she said.
Many of Chuba’s friends have also left Kyiv. Some, like her, have left the country.
“A lot of people who have kids just left, because it’s scary for kids,” she said.
They had been sheltering in a basement as bombings and shelling occurred outside. After 10 days, Chuba decided it was time to escape.
“That’s enough to understand that it’s not good for a kid. Bombs were exploding all the time, day and night,” she said.
Close to 3 million Ukrainians have left the country so far.
Most have left for neighboring Poland and other nearby countries in Europe. Poland’s population has increased dramatically in a number of days.
The Biden administration has given Ukrainian residents already in the U.S. temporary protective status.
Despite how difficult it was to get to the U.S., Chuba said she is determined to go back to the country and city she loves.
“I adore my country, I adore my city. I want to live there. No where else,” she said.