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PBS NewsHour | Ukrainian family starts over in Minnesota after fleeing war | Season 2024

JOHN: SINCE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO, ABOUT 6.5 MILLION UKRAINIANS HAVE LEFT THE COUNTRY INCLUDING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS WHO HAVE COME TO THE UNITED STATES.

ONE OF THEM IS A 10-YEAR-OLD.

JUST DAYS AFTER THE WAR BEGAN, HE LOST PART OF HIS ARM IN A RUSSIAN BOMBING THAT KILLED HIS FATHER AND BROTHER.

THE MINNESOTA GROUP THAT HELPS UKRAINIANS WITH LOST LIMBS BROUGHT HIM TO AMERICA FOR A PROSTHETIC ARM.

TODAY HE AND HIS MOTHER ARE REBUILDING THEIR LIVES IN SUBURBAN MINNEAPOLIS.

THIS STORY COMES TO US FROM MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO NEWS.

>> (INDISCERNIBLE) >> YEAH, SURE, OKAY.

THIS IS OUR KITCHEN.

WE LIKE IT.

KERRY NICE.

– – VERY NICE.

A TABLE FOR OUR BIG FAMILY.

A NICE DECK AND BIG YARD.

MY NAME IS OKSANA.

I LEAVE UKRAINE, KYIV.

>> WE BECAME BIG FRIENDLY FAMILY.

>> WE HAVE EACH OTHER.

IT’S WONDERFUL.

WE ARE VERY GRATEFUL.

>> I HAVE REALLY GOOD FRIENDS HERE.

EVERYBODY IS SO NICE.

I DON’T KNOW WHY, BUT I LIKE TO DRAW A RAINBOW.

I LIKE TO DRAW A SMILE.

I AM EIGHT.

>> NINE, ALMOST 10.

(LAUGHTER)>> HE LIKES HIS CLASS, TEACHERS.

FOOD.

(LAUGHTER) THAT’S HIS FIRST — >> PROSTATIC.

– – PROSTATIC.

>> YES.

>> MY SON.

>> HE IS A GOOD EXAMPLE FOR ALL OF US HOW HE CAN ENJOY LIFE AND DO EVERYTHING HE WANTS, EVEN WITHOUT HIS ARM.

IT HAPPENED FEBRUARY 26.

THEY WERE SCARED AND THEY DECIDED TO RUN AWAY FROM KYIV TO SAVE THEIR LIVES.

THEY THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SAFER.

THAT WAS A BIG MISTAKE.

RUSSIAN SOLDIERS CAME INTO HER EX-HUSBAND’S CABIN.

HE SAW HOW HE DIED.

SHE IS VERY GRATEFUL HIS FATHER PUT HIS SON’S LIFE FIRST THAN HIS OWN.

I WILL ALWAYS FEEL THIS PAIN FOR HIM.

IT IS BETTER THAT HAPPENED TO ME THAN HIM.

BECAUSE I HAD A NORMAL LIFE, NOW HE HAS A DIFFERENT LIFE.

>> HE IS QUITE A CHARACTER.

HE IS VERY ACTIVE, A VERY ACTIVE PERSON.

>> (LAUGHTER) >> RIGHT NOW, WE HAVE 1500 PEOPLE ON OUR LIST THAT WANT TO GET PROSTHETICS.

IN UKRAINIAN, THAT MEANS PROSTHETICS.

THAT’S HOW WE NAMED IT.

SEEING PEOPLE WITH LOST LIMBS DUE TO A STUPID WAR THAT SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN.

BUT YOU PUT THE PROSTHETIC ON ANY PERSON CAN START DOING THINGS, THAT MAKES MY DAY.

>> (LAUGHTER) >> WHAT GAME WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLAY?

>> HEADS UP, 7-UP.

(APPLAUSE) >> HE IS VERY CONFIDENT.

HE LIKES THE SPOTLIGHT.

HE REALLY DOES LIKE THE SPOTLIGHT.

THERE WILL BE SOME TIMES WHEN HE IS SHARING AND HE MIGHT JUST GO INTO THE WHOLE THING ABOUT HOW I MISS MY DAD.

BUT IF IT WERE NOT FOR HIM, I WOULD NOT BE HERE RIGHT NOW.

>> OK, FAVORITE PART OF YOUR DAY?

>> GYM AND SOCCER.

YOU PLAY SOCCER.

>> YOU CAN DO THAT, RIGHT?

>>MY FRIEND.

(CHILDREN PLAYING)