(WKBN) – As the war continues in Ukraine, a Hubbard man is doing everything possible to get his fiancee out of the country and to the United States.
“My goal is that we’ll be a family,” said Steven DuChene.
DuChene has been with his fiancee Svitlana Vinohradova since 2017. They met online and he visited her and her two daughters in their eastern Ukrainian town of Kostyantynivka shortly after. He’s taken multiple trips to see her since.
They had just gotten all of the paperwork for a K-1 Visa to move Vinohradova and her daughters to America when the conflict broke out.
“The Kyiv folks who are still responding to email tell us the case has to be transferred to Frankfurt, Germany,” DuChene said.
But now, he’s not receiving a response. He’s spent thousands on fees to keep their Visa case open and even more on getting his fiance and her family to safety at a refugee camp in western Ukraine.
“There were actually bullets flying through the air and the windows in the bus were covered up with flak vests. So they were laying on the floor of the bus so that they wouldn’t get shot traveling in this refugee bus across from Odesa to this city in western Ukraine,” DuChene said.
He says he talks to his fiancee and her daughters a few times a day over an instant messaging app, but he worries for their safety.
He’s written to Rep. Tim Ryan and is still contacting embassies to try to get the Visa through the backlog.
“They’re just all in limbo right now,” DuChene said.