Couple who fled Ukraine share how they’re adapting to north country life

Published: Mar. 30, 2023 at 5:43 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ADAMS, New York (WWNY) - Last year, we met the Babychs not long after they fled Ukraine when Russia invaded their city. Now, they share how they’re adapting to a new country.

On the piano at St. Cecilia Catholic Church in Adams is Andriy Babych. It’s a place where he says he finds peace after fleeing to the north country with his wife, Olena, from Kherson, Ukraine.

“I believe that we are on our way from zero to hero,” he said.

About 9 months since arriving in Adams thanks to the United for Ukraine program, the Babychs say they’re adapting to life in their new home.

“Jefferson County, Watertown, Adams, gives us a lot of opportunities,” said Andriy.

With their work permits in hand, they are on a job hunt. In Kherston, the Babychs were owners of a truck and truck repair company.

“It was a very big territory with repair warehouse, with a repair room for big vehicles,” said Andriy.

Since leaving the country, their business has been looted by the Russian military.

“I can manage people and my ability helped me build a huge business in Ukraine,” said Andriy.

Besides being business owners, Andriy was a psychiatrist in Ukraine, and Olena built websites. They want to find work and give back to a community that’s welcomed them with open arms.

As for what keeps them on this zero-to-hero journey, they say it’s the gift of a new opportunity.

“Alive, healthy and free. What else does everyone need,” said Andriy.