ND Couple In Ukraine Endures Family Hardship & Tragedy Since Russian Invasion

Brent & Anna Huso have been staying in Ukraine during Russian invasion


WESTERN UKRAINE, (KVRR) – A couple from McVille, North Dakota has been in Ukraine since before the war broke out.  They could leave, but that would mean abandoning their family who call the country home.

Brent & Anna Huso came to Ukraine in early February to visit Anna’s family and take a ski vacation in Western Ukraine, even though the U.S. embassy warned them.

Brent adds,  “They said do not travel to Ukraine, but we kind of kept the optimism as any Ukrainian here has kept.”

“Then it turned for the worst on us.”

Anna’s parents, sister, brother-in-law and nieces had already returned to their home near Kyiv when Russia first invaded.

Anna explains, “It was panic. Night before I called my parents trying to ask them to get out of there as soon as they can but it was already too late because it was constant bombing in Kyiv.”

Her family spent a week at a cottage in a village just outside Kyiv, listening to bombs drop nearby every day. After 7 days they were able to board a packed evacuation train, but Anna’s brother-in-law, Sergi, could not come. He stayed back to take care of his ailing mother and join the fight.

Anna says, “The kids, what they remember most about their dad was he was crying at the train station and giving them thumbs up. And yes, the next day we found out he passed away.”

The victim of a heart attack. A victim of war.

Anna adds, “No one could go back to attend the funeral just because traveling across the whole Ukraine right now is basically suicide.”

The rest of her family made it to the village Brent and Anna are staying in. They are safe for now. No shooting or bombings within earshot. But that doesn’t mean life is easy.

Brent says, “There’s a lot more military activity going on. A lot more strict kind of Martial Law ordinances we have to abide by.”

“Our local markets, they run out very fast with supplies”, he adds.

They say the village they’re in is on edge despite being removed from direct combat.

Brent says, “Everyone looks at you as if you’re a saboteur.”

The Husos had a plan to flee to neighboring Slovakia. But then Anna’s mother Olga fell ill. She was hospitalized with chest pains, keeping everyone in the war-torn country.

Brent explains, “The right thing for us to do is still make sure the well being of our family is taken care of.”

They hope to be able to leave the country once Olga feels better. Their ultimate goal is to relocate the family to North Dakota, but they haven’t had much luck.

“We keep on getting this runaround where here’s the link to the United States immigration process”, Brent says. “It’s like yeah, we know how this process works and it’s not helpful during this time. We need immediate assistance, not a two year process.”

Despite the tragedy they are enduring, the Husos can still find a little moment of levity, at the expense of the Russians.

They chuckled, and decided to end the interview with a common refrain from Ukrainians during the Russian Invasion.

“Russia warship go F@#% yourself.”

The Husos have been reaching out to local leaders trying to cut through the red tape and get Anna’s family asylum in the U.S. They say friends and family have reached out and heard back from various North Dakota leaders. They only official they’ve heard back from themselves is Congressman Kelly Armstrong and his office.

There is an account at Farmers & Merchants Bank in McVille where you can help support the Huso family. You can send donations to PO Box 305, McVille, ND 58254. You can make checks out to Brent and Anna Huso and put “Family Fund” in the memo line.

You can also keep updated through the Huso Ukranian Family Relief Fund Facebook page by clicking here. There, you can find information on how to donate to the Husos through Venmo.

Categories: Local News, Morning – In The Community, North Dakota News