Lexington woman escapes from Ukraine safely

Posted at 11:10 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 23:10:38-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A woman from Lexington was in Ukraine's capital when the Russians invaded last week.

In a matter of hours, she had to figure out her steps to safety.

"I had many talks with different kinds of people on phone, on texting," said Svitlana Duychak. "I was looking for a way out."

Duychak was visiting family and had been in the country since the beginning of February. She and her family live in Lexington and have lived here for nearly a decade.

"It was far away from us actually," Duychak said. "It was so loud we felt like it was hundreds of feet away, but it was actually miles. Three, five miles away from us."

She does landscaping for many people in the Lexington area. She says the first few times trying to leave Ukraine were unsuccessful because of road closures and bridges that are now gone. She remembers an encounter with military members.

"That's why they were so angry when we were so far away from the city but still in the war zone," she said. "They were like, why are you here?"

She added military members told her she was in the wrong place, but she feels God was protecting her.

Her journey out of Ukraine was a multi-day process.

"It was really scary because we had to stop at a gas station and everything was changing so quickly," she said. "It was like, anytime it can get bombed. Because every big city, every part of Ukraine already bombed, already in a disaster. But this part of Ukraine is still safe here because there are no bombs, no booms, no noise from the wreckage from the missiles. No noise."

Now in Italy, she says the feeling is a relief.

"It feels like it's not real," she said. "Dreaming. Because there's so much fear around you and unsafe situations."

Duychak says she is thankful for the prayers from people in Lexington and Kentucky. She feels those prayers helped play a role in bringing her to safety.