'It's comfort. It's home.' Walkertown woman's Ukrainian parents faced a hard choice

'It's comfort. It's home.' Walkertown woman's Ukrainian parents faced a hard choice

11:00am Mar 14, 2022
A refugee child fleeing the conflict from neighboring Ukraine holds flowers, given out to celebrate International Women's Day, as he sits on a bus, at the Romanian-Ukrainian border, in Siret, Romania, Tuesday, March 8, 2022. AP/Andreea Alexandru

*UPDATE: Anna Shyfrina says her parents made it out of Ukraine and are safe in Moldova.

A Triad resident has been encouraging her parents to leave their Ukrainian home as Russian soldiers advance on their city. 

Anna Shyfrina, who now lives in Walkertown, says she’s relieved they’ve finally agreed to do so. 

Shyfrina, a member of WFDD’s Community Advisory Board, says she has more than a dozen family members in Ukraine, ranging in age from about 6 months to 80 years old. Her parents’ home is in Mykolaiv. 

The Associated Press reports that Russian troops have been advancing on the city, a shipbuilding center on the Black Sea.

Shyfrina’s parents are ethnic Russians. She says they believed Russian troops would treat them like family, but as cities were bombarded, they realized that wouldn’t be the case. Still, Shyfrina says convincing them to leave wasn’t easy.

“They live there all their lives,” she says. “It's the only thing they know, it's home, it's comfort, it's familiar. It's hard to leave behind your entire life and leave with two suitcases.”

Shyfrina says her parents are currently in the Ukrainian city of Odessa and hope to make it out of the country and into Moldova. She is working toward bringing them to the U.S. but says the immigration process could take more than a year.

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