Evacuated mother and daughter arrive from Ukraine

Anna and Zaleriia Yermoshyna escape Mykolaiv and the invading Russian forces


Relief at finally feeling safe, and exhausted from months of trauma, a mother and daughter are now making Killarney their home.

Anna Yermoshyna, along with her daughter Zaleriia, 16, arrived late Sunday night, after the long and arduous trip they took in order to escape from the horror, bombardment, and devastation taking place in Ukraine. 

“I just want to sleep,” said Anna. “I feel safe here. We are happy. People are very friendly in Canada. We will manage. I am a strong woman. I hope to find work soon.”

Her teenage daughter Zaleriia agreed. 

“I am feeling not bad,” she said. “It is better to be here, because we were more scared to stay in Ukraine. We arrived with just two suitcases each.”

The Yermoshynas have come from the city of Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine, which is 65 km, or 40 miles, from the Black Sea. Anna said she worked there as a school manager, in charge of programming for students aged seven to 17 years of age. Zaleriia, who has a background in modelling, is currently completing her Ukrainian school year online, and will begin Grade 12 in Killarney next fall.

Both said they continued to be concerned about those still remaining in Ukraine.

“I was close to my mother-in-law, and to my ex-husband,” said Anna. “And we worry about them in Mykolaiv.”

The city, known for shipbuilding, has been a target of attack from bombing and from invading Russian forces. The Yermoshynas don’t want to talk about what has happened to them, or to the apartment they lived in, said host for the family Rick Pauls. The important thing is that they are here now, and recovering, he added.

“They flew from Vienna to Toronto, and then to Winnipeg, and arrived here Sunday morning, at 2:30 a.m.,” he said. “I picked them up. It was a long night. They just don’t want to discuss these things yet.”

Pauls already opened his home as a refuge to Tetiana and son Mykyta Lushtaienko, who arrived from Ukraine last week. As a host he is providing all the necessities for the two families, but said that help from the community has been pouring in. Three boxes of 18-pack eggs were already sitting in the shade of his doorstep when he came home from work on Tuesday.

“Everybody has been amazing,” he said. “Food and clothes and loads of items are just being dropped off for these families. It’s just great. What do they still need? People can call me, and I can let them know. Apparently Mykyta, who is six, needs some more pants. He’s tall for his age, so maybe a size for age seven or even eight might be good.”

REFUGE FROM WAR IN UKRAINE – Anna Yermoshyna (left) and her daughter Zaleriia arrived at Winnipeg Airport in the late hours of Saturday evening, after travelling from Mykolaiv, in southern Ukraine. They are the second Ukrainian family to find refuge here in Killarney, after fleeing from the two-month-long bombardment and invasion in that country by President Putin’s Russian military forces.