Ukrainian family returns to Las Vegas after fleeing war

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Ukrainian family linked to a show on the Strip fled their country to come to Las Vegas. They left two sons behind to go to war and arrived in town with only two suitcases.

“They lived in Las Vegas because he was a performer for Cirque du Soleil. And they lived here for the duration of the contract,” Sergiy Bobrovnyk told 8 News Now.

Elena Kiryanova was also a performer in the traveling show for five years, where the couple met and found love before moving to Ukraine in 2014 to start a family.

They had lived there until the start of the war with Russia.

“At first, from Kyiv, the shelling was far away,” said Elena Kiryanova. “And later he started to get closer. And then the kids started getting scared. And the little one, every time she heard a siren, she hid under the table.

In Las Vegas, their longtime friend and translator, Katia Simomeko, reached out to lend a hand.

“Since the start of the war, we started contacting them,” Simomeko said. “And we told them right away that we were going to help with anything if they could get here.”

Within two weeks they arrived with very few possessions and two young children, seeking to build a new life in our city.

“They always liked Vegas,” Kiryanova said. “And they left and they think that’s really a sign that they’re here, because they came back.”

Now they are starting over with a dream of one day opening a school and teaching acrobatics to young children.

“They would like to have a studio here, a circus studio if they had the money,” Simomeko added.

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