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Grand Blanc woman reunited with relatives fleeing Ukraine

By Trevor Sochocki and Anna Muckenfuss

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    GRAND BLANC TOWNSHIP, Michigan (WNEM) — A few weeks ago, TV5 spoke with Nina Koutrouvidas, a stressed and worried matriarch. The Grand Blanc resident had been trying to get her family out of Ukraine, and this week, she finally succeeded.

“I can touch them, I can hug them, I can,” Koutrouvidas said.

Her daughter, Oresta Shcherbakova, and granddaughter Anastasia are safe.

But the reunion is bittersweet; Anastasia’s dad had to stay in Ukraine in case they need him to fight.

“It’s so hard to me and I’m very worried about him and…,” Anastasia said.

“I am happy to see her and come to this house and to be with daughter in safe. But it’s not normal, yes… situation for visiting,” Oresta said.

The mother and daughter live in western Ukraine and haven’t seen any fighting; neither of them wanted to leave at first.

“We have very beautiful country, and we like to live in this country, and we have job, we have rest, we have different friends, we travel, and we try to do our country, our city better and better,” Oresta said.

Oresta couldn’t believe what she was living through.

“Four o’clock in the morning and I wake up from very scared noise. It was big, many, many planes in our sky and one hour just noise and noise and noise. I understand it was start war,” Oresta said.

After trying to get through the polish border, the duo eventually went back and forth between the Czech Republic and Poland, where they got US guest visas.

They flew to Paris, then to Detroit, and arrived Wednesday night.

“First week I don’t want to come out, out our country because in Ternopil staying my friends, my relatives, my father, and, but I’m scared, and we must do this,” Anastasia said.

Even though they might be physically here, their hearts are in Ukraine, watching over dad, and praying for an end to the war.

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