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CHARLOTTE, NC – Ukrainian refugees are finding peace and comfort in the Charlotte area weeks after fleeing their homeland.

“It’s heartbreaking to see the news from our places in Ukraine and our friends sending pictures from there. It’s very hard to accept it still,” said Tania Zaulina.

Zaulina fled from a suburb of Kyiv to America about a week into the Russian invasion. She connected with a local church that has a strong tie to the area.

“The boys can play soccer. They have a team here. They accepted them,” said Zaulina.

In the last month, Zaulina has continued to home school her two boys. She signed them up for a soccer league and they’ve gone to pick strawberries at a local farm. She’s trying to keep their lives as simple and enjoyable as possible.

“They feel very safe here. Very calm and happy. We are happy that they are happy,” said Zaulina with a smile.

And now, she has neighborly support.

“We are really happy to be, reached our destination. It was hard with four kids, but finally we are here. So it’s great,” said Maryna Fostenko.

We were there last week as Fostenko,  Zaulina’s neighbor in Ukraine,  arrived in the states with her four children.

The emotional reunion has provided another layer of comfort during an incredibly difficult time.

“There is no place to return there for now. But we have to think for our kids. Keeping their education and everything,” said Zaulina.

ZAulina says she is incredibly appreciative of all the support they’ve received from the community. She says they plan to be here through the summer and hope to return to Ukraine once the war is over.



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