‘I always pray for my country’: Ukrainian family spends six months in Omaha and watches the war from afar


By Joey Safchik

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OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — It’s been six months since Yaroslav and Maria Palamar moved to Omaha after fleeing Ukraine.

“Thank you so much for helping, American people, for saving us,” Palamar said.

KETV NewsWatch 7 first introduced you to the Palamar family in April, shortly after they arrived in Omaha. The Ukrainian family has since found an apartment in Elkhorn. Their 8-month-old daughter has now lived more than half her life in the United States

Friends sent them photos of the Irpin neighborhood, now largely reduced to rubble.

“It’s very bad, you know. I feel my heart. I pray all the time for my country,” Palamar said.

He is not only praying for his country, but for his parents, who spend hours at a time sheltering in their basement without electricity or water. Russia has fired dozens of missiles so far this week.

“It’s very difficult. It’s very difficult, because this is my home, these are my parents,” Palamar said, although he said America had already started to feel at home. “My situation is stability. My son goes to school and I found an apartment.”

They have health insurance and local refugee agencies help pay for rent and groceries. Palamar said he applied for a work permit when he arrived here, but was still waiting.

“I need work, you know, and I don’t understand why it’s taking so long,” said Palamar, an architect.

His wife, Maria, is an interior designer, who has taken up the art since moving to the United States. Eight-month-old Eva takes up most of their time, and their first-year student, Lev, is adjusting well.

“I need friends, I need school, I need security, I need my mom and dad and food,” Palamar said, from the perspective of 7 year old child. Yaroslav and Maria are able to provide this security, knowing that the same cannot be said of their relatives back home.

“If you want to pray with me, that’s really nice,” Palamar said.

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