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Ahwatukee man helping single mothers, children escape his hometown in Ukraine

Dima Tratyek has already helped multiple family members get out of Ukraine and to safety at his home but felt he couldn’t sit back and watch his friends suffer.
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 7:45 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As the war continues in Ukraine, an Ahwatukee man is stepping in to try to help his friends trying to escape — single mothers with children. As a native of Ukraine, he said he couldn’t sit back and do nothing, but the financial burden is so high he’s asking the community for help.

Dima Tratyek has been sent pictures from his friends, feeling the heartbreak from thousands of miles away. “They don’t have anywhere to go, they don’t have financial support to do anything on their own, and they’re scared,” Tratyekl said.

They are trying to escape his hometown of Melitopol, Ukraine, a city that was taken over by Russian forces early on in the war. His friend Marina and her two kids have made it one step further. “She should be crossing Poland border today,” Tratyek said.

But his friend Ksenya has been unable to escape despite multiple tries with her 2-year-old. She’s an ex-wife of a Ukrainian soldier, which has put a target on her back. “She’s making another attempt on Monday. She has a good feeling about the next one,” he said.

Tratyek has already helped multiple family members get out of Ukraine and to safety at his home but felt he couldn’t sit back and watch his friends suffer, so he’s agreed to help Marina and Ksenya with everything once they get past the polish border. “I’ll do logistics, I’ll do paperwork,” Tratyek said. “I’ll find money or plane ticket; I’ll bring you here; you’ll be safe,” he said.

The thing is: this is a lot on Tratyek while he tries to provide for his own young family too. “I just can’t do it all on my own,” Tratyek said.

He’s hoping the community can help raise money toward his cause, all funds going to Marina and Ksenya’s family’s escape.

While he sees the faces of concern from his friends in the photos, the littlest faces make him that much more motivated to help and guarantee they have a home here. “You’re safe; your kids are safe. Most important, because as kids, you don’t get to choose,” said Tratyek.

If you’d like to help Dima Tratyek with finances to help these refugees, donate here.