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'Barely any support': Ukrainian family fleeing war zone says B.C. not feasible

A Poland apartment for the three of them is $1,000 a month.

Three Ukrainians fleeing the war will be staying in Poland after trying to find a place in B.C. turned into a difficult task. 

Anya Frolova and Stanislav Frolov posted on craigslist in March, looking for a one- to two-bedroom place for their grandmother, father and stepmom in the Metro Vancouver area.

“Quiet, peaceful folks who want a safe place to live,” reads the post. “They have monetary support from their children who are Canadian citizens [sic] and will be paying all their bills.”

Hennadii Frolov, 60, Oksana Komarova, 55, and Oleksandra Frolova, 83, fled to Poland and have been watching their house and neighbourhood get destroyed. 

“It’s getting bombed for the last three days, constantly. Their street is completely destroyed,” says Frolova. “They realize how lucky they are and that they’re safe.” 

After Glacier Media’s story, the family received more than 30 emails from B.C. residents stepping up and wanting to help. 

"The reaction was immediate,” she says. 

Both Frolov and Frolova cried and appreciated all the messages. 

"I was actually blown away. I was wholeheartedly surprised by how many people wanted to reach out even if they didn’t have anything to offer.”

People from all over B.C., including the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island, offered their homes. Others provided kind words.

"The experience has been overwhelming, to say the least. It's been incredible to see how many people do want to help,” she says. 

After going through some challenges with occupancy rules around single-bedroom units, they were offered a basement suite by a woman living in North Vancouver.

“She said it is ready for you whenever you’re here. We were so happy we were able to find it,” says Frolova. 

After crunching the numbers for the cost of flights, living expenses and transit, they decided it was best for the trio to stay in Poland. 

"Once it started adding up, we found ourselves realizing as much as we want them here, it might not be feasible right now,” she says. 

Currently, rent for the Poland apartment is $1,000 a month.

“Transport in Europe right now is free for Ukrainians fleeing the war, cellphone services are $10 a month, the food is much cheaper,” she says. "Things like that added up.”

After having a difficult conversation with their father Hennadii, they decided this was the best decision. 

"There is barely any support here right now for our situation, for Ukrainians fleeing the war, and it’s more expensive,” says Frolov. "Right now, the biggest hurdle is financial.”

The siblings speak to their family daily.

"I haven’t seen my dad in about five years now or so. I mentally prepared to see him, hug him after all that he’s gone through.”

It's a hug that might have to wait a few more months until they can go see them in Poland.