DIGITAL SPECIAL: After fleeing the fighting in Ukraine, they’re trying to build new lives in Hawaii

Stanislav says goodbye to his two-year-old son David and wife Anna after they boarded a train...
Stanislav says goodbye to his two-year-old son David and wife Anna after they boarded a train that will take them to Lviv, from the station in Kyiv, Ukraine.(AP)
Published: Oct. 25, 2022 at 2:57 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 6:06 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, millions have fled the war-torn country. Many now call neighboring countries their home; still others crossed the Atlantic to the US.

And about 125 sought safe haven in Hawaii, building a new life in paradise as they wait to return home.

SPECIAL SECTION: Ukrainians in Hawaii

While they say they’ve been welcomed with open arms, they also describe a life in limbo.

In a new digital special, “To Survive: Ukrainian Voices in Hawaii,” you’ll hear from Ukrainians who have found safe haven in Hawaii ― as they watch the war continue to unfold from afar.

They say they’re in mourning, they’re in shock and they’re taking things day by day.

“When something happened with your country, you feel like it’s your relatives, you know? It’s like your people and you feel pain,” said Anna Sakovetseva, who is originally from the Kyiv.

“I think every Ukrainian feels pain. You see why people are so angry, you know, for Ukraine.”

Sakovetseva chose to stay in Hawaii because she needed to be in a place “like paradise.” But whenever she hears the news about what’s going on in her home country, she said she feels “destroyed inside.”

Roman and Olga Chetverikov, who are also from Kyiv, live in Hawaii with their two young children.

They say they’re lucky to be in a “safe place” as a family, but they’re also preoccupied with everything that’s going on back home. “Sometimes, we are crying and thinking about Ukraine always,” Roman Chetverikov said.

As they focus on their family here, their thoughts are never far from Ukraine.

“We’re all thinking about Ukraine,” he said.