A former Miss Ukraine winner has spoken out about her harrowing escape from her homeland in the midst of Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country. Veronika Didusenko, who took the title of Miss Ukraine in 2018, said she gathered her 7-year-old son to leave the city of Kyiv on the morning of Russia’s first attack, after being awakened by the sounds of “air raid sirens and explosions,” according to her recent interview with Extra.
“The Russian military forces started to bomb at 5 in the morning,” Veronika began. “We were driving for like 18 hour; the military cars on the one side and the passengers on the other side. So it will end with Russian helicopters flying over our head. It was really scary.” As for what aid could be provided by the U.S., where she is safely staying in Los Angeles, she said, “I would say that Ukraine needs help. We need we need weapons, supplies. We need more sanctions against Russia.” With a no-fly zone over Ukraine being considered by many foreign countries, Veronika added, “We desperately needed it because of the amount of people who are dying in Ukraine. A friend of mine died from the explosion in Kharkiv. It was a 21-year-old girl.”
For now, however, the beauty pageant winner insists help is needed on the ground. “We urgently need people who are in the cities which are occupied, fully occupied, we need them to, like, escape, so we need them to go freely and peacefully… children and the mothers, while their husbands are fighting in Ukraine. We want peaceful citizens to be able to leave the war zone. So there is [the] number one priority right now to save people’s lives in Ukraine.”