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Ky. couple, both Ukrainian refugees, raising money for people fleeing their native country

In Montgomery County, a couple who came to the U.S. as refugees are now watching it all unfold from thousands of miles away
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 5:43 PM EDT
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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The war in Ukraine is still raging, and the country’s president is pleading for help from other countries, including the U.S.

On Wednesday, President Biden called Vladimir Putin a war criminal.

Russian forces have reportedly bombed several buildings full of children in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is asking for anti-aircraft systems, drones, radar stations, radios, and other secure communications.

In Montgomery County, a couple who came to the U.S. as refugees are now watching it all unfold from thousands of miles away, after building their lives in central Kentucky. Now, they want to give back to the country they cannot go back to.

“I was a religious refugee. My family was prosecuted in Ukraine because of the communist regime,” said Nick Pidgorodetskiy.

Nick Pidgorodetskiy and Natalia Pidgorodetska met in Pittsburgh and built their lives in the bluegrass. Their memories of leaving Ukraine are clear.

“Leave everything behind, dis-attach yourself and move to a different world,” Nick said.

“The streets I grew up on, people just running toward the bunkers, it brought up a lot of memories and triggered certain things. It’s almost like PTSD,” Natalia said.

Nick and Natalia said they were moved watching President Zelenskyy address Congress.

“I was literally in tears how he heroically chose to defend the country of Ukraine,” Nick said.

From thousands of miles away, the couple feels inspired to send help to their first home.

“If we don’t send them help, they can’t make it right now because the factories are shut down, everything is shut down, everybody’s in military mode,” Natalia said.

“I think the United States government can do a lot more,” Nick said.

Through their church, the couple is raising money they’ll send to Ukraine. They also say there are too many barriers to bringing refugees here to the U.S.

“A lot of people lost documents and it’s a lot more challenging to come here now,” Natalia said.

The proud immigrants said they want the war to end and peace for their people.

“I think I am the American dream. I came over here with suitcase, didn’t have money, nothing. Like the refuges right now in Ukraine,” Nick said.

The couple says all of the money they raise will pay for medicine and first aid kits for those on the front line. You can click here to find out how to donate.

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