Russian-Ukrainian crisis: Couple arrive in New Jersey after fleeing war-torn Ukraine

NEW JERSEY – As hundreds of thousands of refugees leave Ukraine, some head to the Delaware Valley for safety and a new life.

Anatoli Boreiko, 64, and his wife, Natalia, 59, were among the refugees.

They now live with their daughter and son-in-law in Hainesport, New Jersey.

“They left everything. They literally came with pants, shirts and jackets,” said their son-in-law, Yeugeniy Pakkel.

On Wednesday night, the couple opened up about living in the basement for three weeks in their native country.

“Almost every hour bombs fly from one end to the other,” Anatoly Boreiko said in Ukrainian, as interpreted by his son-in-law.

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“A basement without heating, like not enough food, no good water,” added Natalia Boreiko.

The couple’s daughter, Luda Boreiko, said she was very desperate to bring her parents to the United States.

“Every day I say thank you God they came here and I can take care of them because I couldn’t sleep every night,” she said.

With other parents still in Ukraine, they hope President Joe Biden and NATO will send them lots of help.

“We want freedom. We want to be able to say whatever we want to say, and that’s what we have in Ukraine. But obviously that will be taken away from us if he wins, which won’t happen,” Pakkel said. .

Biden traveled to Europe on Wednesday as he tries to keep NATO allies and other European partners united against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his invasion of Ukraine.

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With fighting lasting nearly a month — and Ukrainian forces unexpectedly holding Russia to a standstill — Biden and other world leaders will seek to hasten an end to the conflict.

Ukraine’s honorary consul in Philadelphia, Iryna Mazur, hopes Biden’s meeting will send a strong message.

“Putin needs to be stopped. It’s not a matter of days, not hours, but it’s a matter of minutes because you know and everyone knows that innocent people are dying,” Mazur said.

Mazur says she knows there are people in her homeland who are desperate to flee, but she is also proud of the many people, especially the large number of women, who fight back in defense of their land and sovereignty.

— ABC News contributed to this report.

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Christi C. Elwood