Ex-exchange student, children relocating from Ukraine

Tom KingFarragut

Julie (Yuliia) Tryukhan and her two children, still in Zilina, Slovakia, after fleeing war-torn Ukraine, have been approved and authorized to travel to the United States under the Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) process to seek “parole.” They should be arriving within the next two months.


Her approval document states: “Upon arrival to the United States, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will make the determination on parole once you arrive at a port of entry.”

Tryukhan’s husband, Dima, is part of the Ukrainian Army and is today part of the force in the most dangerous part of the war zone in southeastern Ukraine.

“I have been working on my husband’s relocation to a safer place. It turns out it’s possible to get him transferred to a different troop if the latter is willing to take him,” she said. “I’m doing everything in my power to change this soon because we’re running out of time.”

Tryukhan, now 32, was a Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) student sponsored by our Rotary Club of Farragut in 2007-2008 and attended Webb School. She has two children – Mark, 3, and little sister Polina, 14 months.

“My children and I are planning to come to the U.S. via Uniting for Ukraine program. Had this program been available when the war started, we would have come to Knoxville already. Knoxville feels like a second home town to me, and I’m sure my family will find peace, safety and comfort there,” she said.

Her approved application indicates it will expire on Aug. 8, 2022, if she has not traveled by that date.

“What that means is that Julie and her children may be here in Farragut a lot sooner than we thought,” said Bill Nichols, who has been coordinating with Bill Vogel. Vogel and wife Dinah were one of her host families during her Exchange year. The Vogels have stepped forward to be their sponsors here in the United States. Vogel is communicating directly with Tryukhan.

Farragut Rotary is already gearing up to support and help with them.

“Their needs will be many,” says Nichols. “They’ll need a place to live, furniture, a car, driver’s license, the basic necessities, and I know our club will step up big to welcome them and help with all of their needs.”

Farragut Rotarian Vicki Williams will coordinate a team from our club to work on and meet the needs of Tryukhanas we work with Vogel. We will need volunteers to work with Williams in this effort, Nichols said. Williams also is a member of the board of directors of Operation Inasmuch in Knoxville, which is in the process of preparing 250,000 meals for Ukrainian refugees.

Tom King has served at newspapers in Georgia, Tennessee, Texas and California and was the editor of two newspapers. Suggest future stories at tking535@gmail.com or call him at 865-659-3562.

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