News March 09, 2022
Former Miss Ukraine Veronika Didusenko Recalls Harrowing Escape from Kyiv
“Extra’s” Billy Bush spoke to a former Miss Ukraine winner who opened up about her escape from Kyiv with her young son.
Veronika Didusenko, who was crowned Miss Ukraine in 2018, and her 7-year-old son were awoken on the first day of Russia’s invasion by the sounds of air raid sirens and explosions, and they joined thousands of others on the road to evacuate.
Ukraine is currently fighting a war against Russia since being invaded in late February. It has been reported that more than 500 civilians have been killed in Ukraine since Russia attacked via land, sea, and air two weeks ago.
Now, the 26-year-old is in Los Angeles, while her son is in Switzerland with his friends.
Though they had to go through four countries as they fled, her son is in “good” spirits. She noted, “I’m going to be back to him in the end of this week.”
Didusenko opened up about her “dangerous” experience escaping, saying, “The Russian military forces started to bomb at 5 in the morning. We were driving for like 18 hours… the military cars on the one side and the passengers on the other side. So it will end with Russian helicopters flying over our heads… It was really scary.”
As for her message for President Biden, she said, “I would say that Ukraine needs help. We need we need weapons, supplies. We need more sanctions against Russia.”
When Billy asked about the no-fly zone over Ukraine, Veronika commented, “We desperately needed it because of the amount of people who are dying in Ukraine… A friend of mine died from the explosion in Kharkiv. It was a 21-year-old girl.”
Her focus right now is on humanitarian relief. She explained, “We urgently need people who are in the cities which are occupied, fully occupied, we need them to, like, escape, so we need them to go freely and peacefully… children and the mothers, while their husbands are fighting in Ukraine. We want peaceful citizens to be able to leave the war zone. So there is [the] number one priority right now to save people’s lives in Ukraine.”
She stressed, “The whole Ukraine is united right now… We believe that we can resist and we can fight back. We will fight and win in this war. And we are staying for our freedom. And for our land.”