Clinton native who moved to Ukraine nearly 30 years ago forced to flee due to Russian invasion
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - It’s been nearly a week since Russia invaded Ukraine.
The war has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and caused one million residents to flee from their homeland, including Becky DeWett.
Although DeWett grew up in Clinton, Ukraine has been her home for the past 29 years. She lives just outside of the Kyiv, which is the capital.
She admits, she’s heartbroken to see what is happening.
“Ukraine is not your land, leave my people alone,” she expressed. DeWett said she moved to Ukraine with a missionary family and helped start a school called Kyiv Christian Academy where she serves as the principal.
“The school grew exponentially in the years following the first opening, to see the size of about 150 students,” said DeWett. DeWett loves her job and he her new home.
However, after realizing Ukraine was under attack, she knew she’d had no choice but to leave.
“A state department from America started calling all Americans left in the country encouraging us to leave,” said DeWett. And DeWett wasted no time doing just that.
”We thought we would go up to the Carpathian Mountains for a few days until things settle,” she said. But days past and things only got worse, forcing the Clinton native to leave the mountains and head to the Romanian-Ukrainian border to seek refuge.
She said it took more than 60 hours to get to the border.
“There were thousands, and thousands, and thousands of cars, and there were twice as many people walking the 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) to get to the border,” DeWett described.
She said thousands of others were also rushing to leave the country, making it an emotional sight to see.
”Men telling their wives goodbye and their children goodbye. We saw grandfathers telling their grandchildren goodbye because they couldn’t leave the country,” she recalled. DeWett says she and the people she traveled with are safe and sound.
Now she’s playing the waiting game hoping this war will end sooner rather than later.
”I want to go back to Ukraine, that’s reality,” DeWett explained. “That’s where I want to be, but I know it’s not tomorrow. Now I’m trying to make plans, trying to figure out how to get a plane ticket to the states for my roommate and for my dog and I. We will be there until it’s safe to go back to Ukraine and start again.”
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