Russian woman in Utah talks about her sister escaping Ukraine during war

Feb 25, 2022, 5:13 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2022, 10:07 am
People shelter in a subway station before a curfew comes into effect on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, ...
People shelter in a subway station before a curfew comes into effect on February 24, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. Overnight, Russia began a large-scale attack on Ukraine, with explosions reported in multiple cities and far outside the restive eastern regions held by Russian-backed rebels. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A Russian woman living here in Utah, is desperate to get her sister out as Russia invades Ukraine.

Ana Ivanova-Bean’s sister is trying to flee the violence. As of Friday afternoon, 137 Ukrainian civilians and military personnel have been killed.

“They’re killing people and turning peaceful cities into military targets. It’s foul and will never be forgiven,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Beeline to the borderline

Ivanova-Bean talks with KSL NewsRadio’s Dave & Dujanovic about what’s happening on the ground, as well as what the Russian people really think about what’s going on in Ukraine.

“I was so worried. In fact, I tweeted last night’s prayers to your half-sister living in Ukraine. I’m so hopeful that they would be OK overnight. What can you tell us?” host Debbie Dujanovic asked.

Ivanova-Bean, who also has family in Moscow, said her sister made it to Chișinău, which is the capital of the Eastern Europe’s Republic of Moldova, south of Ukraine.

“They drove to the border, which usually takes about three hours,” she said. “It took them 12 hours to get there because of the traffic. . . .  she sent me pictures. It was it was scary. They were able to get a hotel [room]. They didn’t think they were going to because of how many people are there. . . . She texted me that it brought her back to USSR times because of what kind of condition of hotels they could get. They are safe for now — well, hopefully.”

Do Russians support Putin’s war?

“My friends were actually posting on social media and everywhere that they apologized to Ukrainian citizens for what the government has done to them,” Ivanova-Bean said.

She added Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union during WWII. Every year, Russia celebrates Victory Day on May 9 with fireworks and parades. The people lost in that long-ago war are celebrated. So this new war “doesn’t make sense to any citizens in Russia,” she said.

Ivanova-Bean said she has been waiting six years for her Green Card, which allows the recipient to live and work permanently in the United States. She said she gets flagged — “let’s say yearly” — because of what Putin is doing.

“Issues between Biden and Putin. Issues between Putin and everybody,” she said. “I don’t want to get too political because I don’t want to get arrested for what I say, but Putin is a dictator.”

Ivanova-Bean added Putin didn’t start the Ukraine war during the recently concluded Winter Games in Beijing because he didn’t want to get sideways with his friend, Chinese President Xi Jinping who has “the biggest influence on him.”

“80% of people despise [Putin] because he ruined their lives. Why would they be supportive [of this war]? It’s hard for anybody here to understand that because they don’t live there. I lived there for 16 years,” she said.

Dave summed up the conversation by saying:

“[Ivanova-Bean] is here in the United States. She’s safe in Utah, and she still felt like she needed to qualify that with, ‘I don’t want to be arrested for what I say.’ If that doesn’t tell the entire story of what’s going on in Russia and what Vladimir Putin is, as a president slash dictator. I don’t know what else could

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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Russian woman in Utah talks about her sister escaping Ukraine during war