“When it turns out, I’ll invite you to the wedding.” Ukrainian family finds asylum with couple from Košice iROZHLAS

According to the Slovak police, at least 150,000 war refugees crossed the Slovak-Ukrainian border this week. Most of them leave eastern Slovakia and head further west. But some think they’ll be back soon and don’t want to stray far from the border. Like Lasija and Ljudka. Two Ukrainians, who were lucky enough to have the Tres, offered them and their four children a free apartment in a housing estate in Košice. “They are our second family”, explains the Slovak couple.




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From left to right: Radoslav, Jura, Julia, Lasija, Danil, Ivana, Christina, Tamara | Photo: Tomas Kremr | Source: Czech Radio

“The first thought came from our daughter Ema. She would immediately welcome half of Ukraine. And then we said to ourselves that yes, the apartment is empty and that there is a good deed to be done. And above all , I couldn’t sleep and I was afraid that the war was coming, so we decided to offer the apartment, to house someone there, ”explains Ivana Tresová, who is a doctor by profession, in the program Radiožurnál Her husband Radoslav works in an IT company and they live in a family house in Košice.

The Ukrainian family found asylum with a couple from Košice. Reporter Tomáš Kremr filmed on location

Until recently, they had an empty apartment after Radoslav’s mother moved elsewhere. All you had to do was clean it up and bring the internet there. With original equipment, antique furniture and mugs and pink china in display cases, he was offered to help Ukrainians fleeing the war. Two mothers, cousins ​​Lasija and Ljudka and their four children, got into it.

“We are from Ivano-Frankivsk. There were also knocks from the airport on the first day of the war, and rockets had flown recently. The couple immediately told us that we had to leave with the children. We didn’t want to not, but they insisted,” said Lasija, 34, who takes care of her son Danila, under a year and a half, and her eldest daughter, Christina. Her cousin Ljudka also has two children: Julia and little Jur.

The women and children moved into the Tres’ apartment on the fourth day after the war began. Through social media and various acquaintances, they joined them through a man named Kyrill. “Kyrill is Russian. He was looking for housing for Ukrainians. And he found an apartment in a settlement called Peace. So, the Russian found an apartment in Peace in the war conflict with Ukrainians, ”emphasizes Ms. somewhat absurd and smiling detail of the whole situation.

Communication via tablet

The means of communication are sometimes funny. Combination of Slovak, Ukrainian, sometimes Russian, sometimes English. If not different, then with your hands and feet. Or by using Internet translators. “We write via Viber. We write in Slovak, they will translate it and reply,” says Ms Ivana.


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Her husband Radoslav rushes to the rescue with a tablet. In the application, just press the microphone, Lasija speaks slowly and the woman’s robotic voice then translates the sentences. It’s not perfect, but above all quite precise.

“I want to help someone, because once I run away, maybe someone will help me,” says Mrs. Ivana, and Lasija understands her and nods that she would definitely help her. “But then I’ll laugh about it, because I’m a doctor. If something happens here, I won’t run anywhere, they’ll lock us up in the hospital and we’ll work here, that’s for sure. But I’m going there. I always feel good. Otherwise, we wouldn’t all know each other here,” smiles Ivana.

The Tres and their other daughter, Tamara, helped the women get the necessary documents from the police at first. Ljudka eventually returned to Ukraine after a short stay. She had to go to work, to the leisure market. And she wanted to help. Mrs. Ivana’s friends brought her home alone.

Lasija now takes care of four children in Košice. They are waiting to be able to take distance learning courses at school. She’s in kindergarten, so she can’t go to work because of her youngest son, even if she wants to. He baked cakes in Ivano-Frankivsk, preferring the three-chocolate genre. The couple’s cousins ​​are still helping people in Ukraine, they haven’t received a war call yet.


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“I think this situation can be very rewarding for us. Not only us, as a family, but also a civilization,” says Ivana Tresová. “Especially many people realize that the problems that we have seen as problems so far are completely negligible compared to what is happening now,” Radoslav said, and his wife nodded. “

The Tres say they have found a second family. And the other family confirms it. “When it’s going well, I’ll invite you to the wedding!”, announces the eldest of the Ukrainian girls, Julia, while Tamara plays with Jura, Danil and Christina, who are still drawing something in their notebook.

As a journalist, after the interview, I ask if I can take a family photo for the new big family. Everyone is in agreement. Cheese is said to be pronounced “ser” in Ukrainian, but English “cheese” also works. When I show the finished group photo on my cell phone, little Jura says, “Normal.” But he and his family now hope and believe that their lives will soon be back to normal.

Tomas Kremr

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