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20220309

Former Miss Ukraine recalls harrowing escape experience, says women-children most impacted amid Russia-Ukraine crisis

Washington [US]: Model and former Miss Ukraine Veronika Didusenko recently recalled her harrowing experience of escaping the country with her 7-year-old son and warned that frightened mothers and children huddling in shelters stand to be most impacted as the Russian military operation in Ukraine intensifies. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Didusenko, who was crowned as Miss Ukraine in 2018, talked about this during a Los Angeles press conference held alongside women's rights attorney Gloria Allred on Tuesday. She said, "Some cities fighting back are on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe, but they're not giving up." Talking about her escape experience with her son from Ukraine on February 24, the day Russian military forces first marched into her country and headed towards Kyiv, where she had lived, Didusenko recalled, "In between raids, we, along with thousands of other families, tried to get out of the city in the middle of a giant traffic jam. Directly above my head, dozens of Russian helicopters with troops were bombing a nearby airfield."The beauty pageant winner revealed that had to travel through four other countries to reach the U.S and noted that millions of other Ukrainian mothers and children have been left behind in her native land to face the crisis. "Right now, millions of Ukrainian children and their mothers are trembling at every sound they hear in subway stations and shelters, and even more heartbreaking are those forced to give birth in such conditions," Didusenko said. Though the former Miss Ukraine already had a visa to travel to the US, she told that "it was heartbreaking" because she had to leave her son with a friend in Switzerland before she could travel on to Los Angeles as her application at the U.S. embassy in Luxembourg to secure an additional visa for her son was denied. As per The Hollywood Reporter, during the press conference, Didusenko had urged the US and other Western powers to help her homeland against the Russian military operation. She continued, "Men in Ukraine need this help the most, as those are under fire from the Russian bombing are begging our allies to close the skies over Ukraine. Unfortunately, those pleas are falling on deaf ears in Washington and in Europe."

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