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Ukrainian refugee mother, handicapped daughter land in St. Louis to be treated at Children’s Hospital

By Deion Broxton

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    ST. LOUIS, Missouri (KMOV) — Two Ukrainian refugees landed in St. Louis Sunday seeking medical care and safety from the war with Russia.

Ukraine native Anna Krukova, along with her daughter, Victoria, landed at Lambert International Airport on medical visas. Victoria, 5, has cerebral palsy. Her family fled Nova Kakhovka, which is about 3.5 hours from Crimea. The two, along with Victoria’s father, went to Poland.

Anna and Victoria came in contact with Ukrainian-born St. Louis residents Luda Chernyak and Isabella Gipkhin through social media and word of mouth. The group arranged for Anna and Victoria to live with Gipkhin, who has fostered a dozen Ukrainian families since coming to St. Louis in 1989.

“They have nowhere to go back to because their home has been bombed,” Chernyak told News 4. “There are hundreds and hundreds and thousands of people like Anna and Victoria sitting in places like Poland and Moldova and Romania and Bulgaria–Germany–that really need to find a permanent home, they’re displaced. I personally came here as a refugee as a child from the former Soviet Union. It’s a very difficult situation to be in, especially, as a child.”

Victoria will get surgery and care at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Gipkhin told News 4 appointments are already scheduled for Victoria.

The group will now work to get Victoria’s father and other family members to the U.S.

Local Ukrainian Facebook groups include Ukrainians in Missouri/Українці в Міссурі/Help refugees in St. Louis!

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