A Trumbull County family has reunited with three loved ones after fighting to get them out of Ukraine for four months.
Anton Roscoe, his mother, Lana Bielovorova, and Anton’s grandmother, Lydia Bielovorova, arrived in the United States on June 16. They are staying in Springfield, Tennessee, where Anton’s father, Chris, was transferred from Warren for work.
Anton, Lana and Lydia fled Ukraine in early March after Anton and Lana were injured by Russian troops and remained in Warsaw, Poland while figuring out how to get to the United States.
Anton and Lana have dual citizenship in the United States and Ukraine. Their passports had expired, but the US Embassy in Warsaw was able to help them get new ones.
Lydia is not a US citizen, so she had to apply for a visa. This necessitated scheduling an interview for June 1st. After the interview, she received a travel visa and the family was able to buy plane tickets.
“We want to thank everyone who has helped our family,” said Girard resident Ed Roscoe, grandfather of Anton. “We couldn’t have brought them home without the generosity of this community.”
Roscoe raised funds through a GoFundMe page. To date, over $17,500 has been raised. Most of this money went to pay for Anton, Lana and Lydia’s stay in Warsaw, which cost up to $800-1000 a week for accommodation alone.
While in Warsaw, Roscoe helped her family connect with Warren’s Wendy Marvin. She lives in Warsaw and teaches business English. Lana was the only one who spoke English, along with Russian and Ukrainian, so Roscoe said Marvin was instrumental in helping her family reach the United States.
“She was a blessing in disguise,” Roscoe said.
Marvin helped the trio navigate Warsaw and the visa application and passport renewal processes. She even sat down with the family to help them buy plane tickets and make sure they got out of the country safely.
Lydia’s visa would typically be valid for 90 days, but President Joe Biden has chosen to allow Ukrainian refugees who meet certain conditions, which Lydia does, to stay in the country for up to two years.
Now the family is focused on settling Anton, Lana and Lydia.
As they tried to get to the basement of the building they lived in during a March bomb attack in Kharkiv, Anton’s face was injured by shrapnel and Lana was shot twice in the back and was repeatedly injured by shrapnel. It was after this that they decided to flee their home.
Lana was discharged from a Ukrainian hospital when she attempted to seek treatment due to an increase in casualties and civilian casualties at the hands of Russian forces. She was unable to receive treatment until the family made the 12-hour trip from Kharkiv to Ternopil, Ukraine, and then the nine-hour trip from Ternopil to Warsaw.
Lydia didn’t want to leave. She said she wanted to stay with her friends and her church, but Anton insisted he wouldn’t leave his grandmother in a war zone.
The three left with only the clothes on their backs. They left their friends and belongings, and Anton had to leave his dogs behind.
“The challenge now is to locate them and restore them,” Roscoe said. “They had to leave everything and everyone behind.”
He continues to fundraise for his family to provide them with clothes and food, as well as English lessons for Anton. Donations can be made through GoFundMe at Help Anton, Lana, and Lydia Escape Ukraine. Roscoe also accepts checks mailed to his home. They are to be established to help Anton, Lana, and Lydia escape Ukraine and sent to 14 Hickory Trace Drive, Girard, OH 44420.
Roscoe hasn’t seen Anton since he was 4 years old, when he traveled to Ukraine to help Lana and Anton get dual citizenship, and he has to wait a little longer.
His daughter, Elise Polinsky of Cleveland, is pregnant and her due date was Tuesday. After welcoming a new grandchild into the world, Roscoe plans to travel to Tennessee to welcome her grandson home.