Ukrainian couple living in Chandler shares horrific stories of war

A Ukrainian couple talked about how they fled their home country in April and have been living in Chandler.
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 5:22 PM MST
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CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — A young couple is sharing their story about fleeing their home in Ukraine as the war broke out. Sergey and Katy Bilovodsky have been married for two years and were living in Kharkiv, Ukraine, in an apartment. They explained that they lived just a few miles from the border of Russia and could see the rockets being launched. “We just prepared a suitcase and backpack and moved to my father’s apartment. It’s in a different part of the city. It’s farther from the border,” said Sergey.

Sergey, his wife, his father, his sister, and her husband and their newborn baby hid in a basement for about a week. “In one week, or something like that, we were in my father’s apartment and the military planes came and they started bombing,” Sergey said. “We were in a 12 floors building and it start shaking. At the time, we thought, this is the end. We started saying goodbye to each other.”

After surviving the terrifying night, everyone packed their bags to leave--except Sergey’s father. “He said, ‘I’m already old. This property has everything that I have, so I’m not going to move anywhere. I will stay here ‘til the end,’” Sergey recalled.

Sergey said he and his father try to talk on the phone daily. “All the time I’m talking to him. I’m begging him, please move move move from there,” Sergey said. For about one month, the Bilovodskys moved from city to city in Ukraine, trying to find a safe place. However, all they found was more destruction. They then made the difficult decision to leave their home country and move in with Sergey’s cousin in Chandler. “We start doing our own business. We have a lot of plans, we were planning to have a baby,” Sergey said.

The couple says before the war started, they were beginning fertility treatments. They’re hoping to find a clinic to help them start a family in Arizona. However, so far, the treatments are too expensive. “We already collected some amount of money but the war had started and we spent it just for surviving,” Sergey explained.

The couple cannot work now because they are waiting for their documents to return. “We are waiting for our paperwork to start working and we have no idea when it will finish,” Sergey said. “I think it’s better to stay here. I hope we will be able to have a baby and I don’t want to bring my family to a dangerous place.”