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Russian woman living in North Texas opens her home to Ukrainian family

Russian woman living in North Texas opens her home to Ukrainian family
Russian woman living in North Texas opens her home to Ukrainian family 03:51

FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSNewsTexas.COM)  Today marks one year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

To date, according to the United Nations, over 8,000 Ukrainian civilians have died and more than 1,300 have been injured - that's in addition to the estimated 140,000 Ukrainians troops who have been killed.

As a year has passed, this war shows no signs of slowing down. Many Ukrainian families have sought refuge in North Texas, including Anna Kaskova and her three children.

"My kids saw the jets, the planes that came with rockets," said Kaskova, "Psychologically, my three-year-old son had started to have some breakdowns."

Kaskova got in contact with Alyssa Honer through a priest helping Ukrainians escape the war-torn country. Honer lives in Fort Worth but is originally from Russia. 

Anna Koskova and Alyssa Honer

After seeing what families went through, "It's hard not to feel empathetic and not to have so many emotions just to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what these women went through," said Honer.

She felt compelled to help out and opened her home to Kaskova's family. They've been living together for the past nine months now.

"In my mind, she's a hero because she didn't have to go, grab her kids and go, and she did," added Honer.

Kaskova's husband joined the family several months later in a surprise emotional visit.

While there were tears of joy, being away from Ukraine brings tears of heartbreak as well. Kaskova's mother passed away in December from Parkinson's disease.

"They could not in the hospital give her the proper care because they were prioritizing soldiers and wounded people over elderly and over those who need care. She was not even able to say goodbye," said Kaskova.

It's been a year of sorrow, confusion and frustration with why this war broke out.

Alyssa Honer and Anna Koskova

"It's terrible that currently, basically the prime people of Ukraine are dying because the younger people are having to serve and that's who is being killed, and so they are losing a lot of their population," said Kaskova.

While she hopes to one day go back home someday, she's thankful for the kindness of North Texans.

"They're always trying to help, they're always asking, 'how are you guys doing, is there anything we can do,'" said Kaskova.

"I can't imagine not having them in my life, they're like family to us," added Honer.

Kaskova said she's hopeful Ukraine will prosper once again and that things will get better in the future. 

Kaskova's husband is working on his CDL, and their three kids are doing well in school. One even made the honor roll, and they are picking up the English language quickly.

The Kaskovas hope to return to Ukraine but are playing it day by day.

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