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'Safe And Sound': Baltimore Man Rescues Grandmother From Ukraine

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Oleksiy Blavat emigrated from Ukraine to Baltimore 20 years ago. On Wednesday, he began his journey back to the region to rescue his grandmother. 

He shared his journey with WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren.

Blavat's grandmother was able to secure a bus ticket from Ukraine to Poland. We can now report the two have been safely reunited in Warsaw and are making their way to Baltimore.

Blavat wrote, "Hi Mike, thank you very much for running my story! I picked up my grandma, she's safe and sound! On my travels I encountered a lot of desperate people who are confused and lost. Some of them have never been outside of Ukraine, and this is their first experience. Heartbreaking. I tried to help as many people as I could along the way. I would either provide them with an Internet connection via my hotspot, so they could get further instructions from their relatives abroad, or just help them with translation (Russian/Ukrainian-English)."

He shared video of the Zachodnia bus station in Warsaw.

"A lot of them don't have anyone in Poland, so they're fully relying on the Polish government to help them get settled. As dire as it looks, the Polish government is doing a heck of a job taking care of these displaced Ukrainians, serving hot meals, posting bilingual volunteers, setting up care centers, putting up signs in Ukrainian and Russian to help folks navigate easier. I'm very thankful to Poland for fast-tracking the intake of Ukrainians," Blavat said.

Warsaw, Poland. Photo courtesy Oleksiy Blavat

He said he still has family in Western Ukraine and is worried about them amid reports Russia is expanding its attacks on the country westward.

If you're interested in donating, we've compiled a list of organizations helping the people of Ukraine during this crisis. 

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