A Queens woman is pleading for help getting her son out of the Ukraine as uncertainty over the region's safety grows by the day. NY1's Rocco Vertuccio filed the following report.
The international crisis in Ukraine has become a family crisis for Natalia Kuzmina of Whitestone, Queens.
"It's hard for me and for him too. He never was apart from me for so long," Kuzmina said.
Kuzmina has been separated from her 4-year-old son Mykhailo for four months. She came to the U.S. on a work visa and ended up getting married here. Her son is still in Ukraine with his grandfather.
"I just want him to be with me," Kuzmina said.
Natalia fears for her son's safety because he lives in an area that has had violent protests and clashes. Communicating with her son via Skype has not eased her fears.
"Sometimes you can be in the wrong place. You do nothing and something happens with you," Kuzmina said.
With the help of Congressman Steve Israel, Mykhailo just received his green card. Now the Congressman is urging the State Department to speed up the rest of the immigration process. The goal is to reunite the boy with his mother before the crisis in Ukraine gets worse.
"I'm not going to rest until Mykhailo is in Whitestone reunited with his family," Rep. Israel said.
Getting the travel documents from the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine could take about three months. With the help of the U.S. government Mykhailo could be here in a few weeks.
It's a reunion that will give Kuzmina a chance to do something so simple but has become so complicated.
"I just want to hug him and tell him that I love him," Kuzmina said.