Ukrainian refugee family arrives in Toledo and now living with local family

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 8:10 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As the war rages on in Ukraine, people are still fleeing the country and becoming refugees in Europe and here in the U.S., including a family that just arrived in Toledo on Friday.

Borys Dzhanaiev arrived with his wife and 8-year-old daughter in tow. The family was living in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city, before relocating to Germany once the war broke out.

Borys says early one morning, the walls of their home started shaking. They lived about a mile away from an airport Russia was bombing. The family woke up from their sleep and decided it was time to escape.

“I was ready for it. All the documents and some stuff was in the car. My fuel tank was full. For 30 minutes we got ready, we sat in the car and we ran away west,” says Borys.

But that was not the end of their escape. They still had to safely get out of the country.

“I thought about the road I must choose because if I go on the usual roads Russian tents can come from Belarus,” says Borys. “I chose the long way, and I was right because some people who ran away on the usual roads died.”

The family ended up in Germany, where they stayed for eight months. Then they got in contact with someone from local organization Toledo Helps Ukraine and were connected to Wayne Kinsel and his family. The Kinsels sponsored the refugees and moved the family into their Sylvania home on Friday.

“I’m retired military so unfortunately I’ve seen what war can do so I felt very strongly about trying to help in any way we can,” says Wayne Kinsel.

The men say their families have meshed well over the last few days. They both have daughters around the same age. Borys says his family feels safe and welcome here.

“I feel here not like a refugee, I feel like a guest,” says Borys.

Many Ukrainians are still hoping to come to the U.S. for refuge so Toledo Helps Ukraine is looking for more host families. You can sign up to become a sponsor or donate to help their mission on their website. You can also email them for more information at

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