Ukrainian refugee brothers reunite in Lincoln after 19 years apart

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 9:13 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - On Wednesday, seven Ukrainian refugees settled in for their first night in their new country.

Wednesday afternoon, they were reunited with family here in Lincoln.

One of them saw his brother for the first time in 19 years.

“We grow up in a little town in the middle of Ukraine. We grow up in a little village together,” said Alex Shevchuk.

Since leaving that little village in Ukraine, Shevchuk has been here in Lincoln.

And now his brother Vasyl and his family are here to stay.

“We haven’t met the kids.. the oldest one was about two when we saw her,” said Shevchuk.

This reunion was all made possible thanks to the Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska.

They helped the two families get from Ukraine to Lincoln.

Parts of Ukraine are currently war-torn areas.

“They have to prove that they have a viable reason to flee their country of origin and seek protection in the United States,” said Refugee Resettlement Director, Megan Meagher.

Catholic Social Services said this process takes years and is full of a lot of screenings and the families were actually supposed to get here last year, but then the pandemic started.

The days to come will now be full of English lessons, and getting them all jobs.

Meagher said getting them here right before the holidays is the best feeling.

“Seeing a family reunion take place, is so reassuring to us and it is a real highlight and honor to witness,” said Meagher.

“It’s nice, it is exciting, I cannot express my feelings,” said Shevchuk.

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