Area man faces returning to home country of Ukraine

Eduard Svystun came to Kentucky six years ago. Now, he's facing deportation back to his war-torn home country.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – According to the United Nations, as of May 17, 6.3 million people have fled Ukraine.

While many people are leaving, fearing for their safety, an area man is worried that in the coming months, he’ll have to return to his home country.

Eduard Svystun, from the Rivne region of Ukraine, came to Kentucky six years ago as a cultural exchange student. He says he made the decision to stay here, applying for political asylum, after he says his university in Ukraine tried to bribe his family and threatened to send him to a war at the time in Donbas.

He’s now built a life here in the Bluegrass over the last six years.

“Now, kinda looking back, and I see maybe it was in the long run for the better. It’s sad it happened, I didn’t want it to happen. But looking right now, thank God I’m safe here, I’m alive, I love it here, I really do,” said Svystun.

He says he waited five years for his asylum interview, which happened back in February, but he didn’t get approved.

With the ongoing war in Ukraine, and no signs of it stopping, he’s worried he’ll have to return to his war-torn home country.

“They’re [Russia is] still bombing every city. They killed thousands and thousands and are still killing thousands of innocent people every day. They’re bombing churches, they’re bombing schools, they’re bombing hospitals. There’s nothing valuable or important to them,” said Svystun.

Svystun’s family decided to stay in Ukraine during the war, but he says they want him to stay where he’ll be able to build a life.

“I just want to live. I just want to be safe. I want to know that I’ll wake up tomorrow and I can continue my life and be a part of society where I can benefit and help people,” said Svystun.

He says he’s being referred to immigration court, with a hearing scheduled for January 2023. He’s hoping there’s someone out there who can help.

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