FOX23 Investigates: an update on a Ukrainian family separated during the Russian invasion

TULSA, Okla. — Since the war in Ukraine began, FOX23 Investigative Reporter Janna Clark has been communicating with Eduard, a Ukrainian man who was separated from his family during the Russian invasion of Mariupol.

Eduard was working outside of the city when Russian bombing started. He told FOX23 he narrowly escaped the city, but his family was still inside Mariupol. He’s been desperate to save his family, and now his home is in ruins and under Russian control.

His wife and four-year-old daughter were trapped inside the city for weeks.

“When I think, what my 4-year-old daughter, what they feel now, I can’t find a place for myself,” Eduard said. “I don’t know what I should [do]. I don’t have a future without [my family]. If something were to happen to my family, [my life] will be destroyed.”

He’s ben sending videos asking Americans to pray for his country. He told FOX23 his deepest fears about his friends, family and home city of Mariupol.

“Now in Mariupol, all my family, friends, all my life … all I have before is just destroyed. I don’t have nothing,” he said.

At the beginning of April, FOX23 reported that Eduard found out his wife and daughter were alive.

“My wife, my daughter, they are now together with my mother,” he explained. “Before they were in a bunker, and I didn’t have any information. ‘What happen [to] them? Where are they?’”

He continued, stating that he still isn’t sure exactly what happened since the bombing but knows his wife and daughter are safe with his mother.

“That is good news. And I know they are alive,” Eduard said.

His greatest hope is to be reunited with his family soon.

“I pray it will happen soon. I hope they will have the opportunity to escape from Mariupol. I hope, I really hope,” Eduard said.

Since then, he found out how they were able to escape from the Russian military. He got a surprise phone call from his wife last week.

“For one second, my world changed in time. When I heard the voice of all of them, my daughter … My wife said how they survived. They were running five kilometers under bullets [and] bombing attacks. She said ‘when we ran, we heard bullets fall behind our backs.’”

He continued, “They just put my daughter inside of the car … and they go.”

Even though his wife and daughter were safe, Eduard was concerned about his father, grandmother and his wife’s parents. He said they’re all still in the city.

Since Russia has taken Mariupol, Eduard told FOX23 the situation in his city is a crisis.

“It is a humanitarian disaster because so many people don’t have food,” he said.