Family flees war in Ukraine and finds unexpected hospitality in Las Vegas

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 10:19 PM PST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A family that fled war-torn Ukraine and moved to Las Vegas has found something they did not expect: overwhelming hospitality from strangers.

Nadiia Zababurina, her husband Ievgen Kravchenko, their children Leo and Diana and their dog Luna fled fighting-ravaged Zaporizhzhia in eastern Ukraine, which Russia has declared as its stronghold. The couple had to drive across the entire country to reach Poland for refuge and only brought several pieces of luggage with them.

A friend from Nadiia’s old job offered her family a place to stay in Las Vegas in the Southwest Valley.

She introduced herself as a member of the community through social media app NextDoor, in an effort to get to know her neighbors. She was surprised by how many dozens of people responded to offer help, support or anything else the family could need.

“I was shocked, to be honest, I didn’t even expect it. They offer everything-- some English lessons for kids. Another woman said, ‘Make a list of what you need.’ They’re so nice to us and we’re just strangers. They don’t know us, but they try to help in every possible way,” she said, in tears.

Nadiia said she’s been overwhelmed by people’s sympathy, once people find out her family is from Ukraine. “People begin to cry and hug me,” she said.

“Right now we don’t have a home. Everything we lost. We are hardworking people and we know how to work. We know how to make it work,” she said. Kravchenko had just started a car detailing business in Ukraine when the family fled the country.

The couple learned how to obtain a business license, and Kravchenko started his own business as a handyman, called “Kozak Ukrainian Services.”

The family’s friends in the U.S. started a GoFundMe to help the couple start a new life in Las Vegas. You can find the link here.