Friend helps friend escape from Ukraine terror
When a friend is in need, no amount of distance should matter.
Amy Sue Bosway of Cedar Hill is proving this by helping her friend Mariya Myetova, who goes by Masha, find refuge at her home in Cedar Hill following Masha’s escape from Kiev in the Ukraine. The two have known each other for well over a decade since they met at law school in Michigan.
“Masha and I have been friends and in contact since we met in 2009. We communicated via LinkedIn and gmail all these years,” Amy explained. “She was supposed to come and visit in 2017 so she obtained a VIsa, which is good for 10 years, up to six months visit.
“Unfortunately, it does not grant work authorization, but we are watching the Ukrainian war refugee legislation closely and appealing to authorities to try and bring attention to the difficult situation. We are also seeking a pro bono immigration attorney who would be willing to assist with affirmative asylum.”
In the meantime, she is giving her friend comfort during the most tumultuous time in Masha’s life. She had tried to escape from the Ukraine and the Russian attacks several times to no avail and began to wonder if she ever would.
Then, one day it happened
“I attempted to take a train out of Kiev several times. It was impossible, and the same day I left by car the train station was bombed,” she recalled. “I escaped over the Romanian border in the Carpathian Mountains on foot because the car line was backed up.
“I came to cedar hill because my dear friend and law school classmate Amy was worried about and my safety. She invited me and sent me a last-minute ticket from Romania to Dallas.”
Masha said at the time of her escape she could hear missiles falling in the distance from her home in Kiev. Russian terrorist groups were attacking from inside the city. She spent a week in a hospital basement bomb shelter, listening as her beloved city was being attacked.
“It was very scary. I was worried I might have missed the window of opportunity to get out safely because there were reports of civilians being attacked in Kiev and in the suburbs of Kiev,” Masha said. “My apartment was near a military installation and there was a tank parked out front. It was too dangerous to return there.”
Cedar Hill Community Has Been ‘Absolutely Amazing’
Not only was Masha welcomed by her dear friend Amy, the city of Cedar Hill and the area has been extremely hospitable to her. Amy called the response “absolutely amazing.”
Amy said the city and residents have donated clothing, shoes, meals and have assisted with all of Masha’s needs. For example, the Summit Cedar Hill Ladies Book Club has been sending homemade dinners. They also helped Masha with getting medical at Methodist Family Medicine. Another local gentleman introduced her to a local orthodontist in Grand Prairie who is graciously offering his services for her at a substantial discount. Even the city of Cedar Hill government personnel, city manager, municipal court and police department have gone above and beyond, Amy added.
“Everyone has welcomed her with open arms. Also, several local residents from Dallas have been extremely generous and donated funds, clothing racks, taken us out to dinner, etc.,” she said.
“One very special gentleman even bought her a large outdoor Ukrainian flag and a huge bag of chocolate, her favorite. She was touched beyond words. I also feel so blessed by this amazing response for Masha. She is thriving after her amazing escape from Kiev over the Romanian border. She loves this country and is so grateful for the amazing warmth and compassion Cedar Hill and Texans have shown her.”
A Strong Fight Despite The Odds
Masha said she could never have imagined such a reception, “There are no words that adequately express my appreciation and gratitude.”
Masha praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his troops for their valiant efforts in combating the Russians, though vastly outnumbered.
“They’ve put up an unexpectedly strong fight despite the odds,” she said.
Among those still there is her brother, with whom she stays in touch.
“My brother is still in Ukraine and fortunately I have been able to stay in contact with him via internet. I worry about his safety non-stop,” she said.
She also has an uncle and his family the Donetsk region. She said they are unable to leave because they have nowhere to go. They are in poor health and the journey would be too dangerous.
As for herself ever returning, she said, “I am devastated. I am not sure if I’ll ever be able to return. I hope that this war ends soon. It is heartbreaking to watch. Everyone I know is suffering.”
While she wishes it were under different circumstances, Masha’s return to the U.S. has been a comfort to Amy as she lost her husband recently.
“He passed away of cancer a year and a half ago in my arms at our home here in Cedar Hill. He also loved it here,” Amy said.
An Old Friend & Many New Ones
Masha lived in Ukraine after law school. She was unable to finish because the Ukrainian corporation sponsoring her scholarship went bankrupt. She has one year left to complete, which she is now looking into pursuing.
In the meantime, she is working to adjust to the sudden change in life. Fortunately, for her and unlike many other refugees, she has a good friend to help her out. And now, quite a few new ones.
“I’ve never seen this level of compassion and generosity. Every other person we encounter asked us how can they host a Ukrainian refugee,” Amy said. “Our desire is for the U.S. government to allow Ukrainian refugees that arrived after the March 1 temporary protected status cutoff date to stay and get work privileges.
“In addition, we hope more folks are allowed to host Ukraine war refugees and that the visa requirement is eliminated during this time of extraordinarily horrific circumstances. We have the room, the desire and the American spirit of generosity.
“Cedar Hill and the DFW Metroplex exemplifies this spirit, and I am proud to be part of such an amazing caring and sharing community.”