Portland food truck owner has family stuck in Ukraine

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:05 PM PST
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - At Pelmeni food truck inside the Hawthorne Asylum Food Carts, the borscht was hot and the pelmeni streaming, as another rainy Portland day set in on Tuesday.

Cart owner Andrey Georgiyev described the dishes as the ultimate Ukrainian and Russian comfort food, something much needed during tough times of the Russian invasion of the country.

“It’s been pretty depressing,” is how Georgiyev describes the last several days. “Knowing that I have my aunt there; I have a lot of relatives in Ukraine and the fact that there’s been a conflict between Russia and Ukraine for so many years now and they are actually attacking our civilians that was really a shock for me personally.”

Georgiyev’s story is one of the American dream: his family left Ukraine when he was a small child back in the 90′s, shortly after the Soviet Union collapsed.

The family came to the United States for a better life.

“My parents gathered all their belongings in two suitcases and took all six children and they all came here to Portland,” Georgiyev said.

Georgiyev said his dad’s sister is still in the city of Mariupol, unable to leave the country.

“It’s very scary,” Georgiyev said. “She says you don’t know if you are going to be bombed in the next minute, the next hour. It’s just very uncertain.”

“My prayers and our family’s prayers go out to Ukraine, our family and the people who are suffering now with this war that Putin has inflicted,” Georgiyev added.

Some of his other relatives were lucky enough to escape to Poland, where they now wait, hoping to get to the U.S.

“We might have to go to Poland and then sign some documents and then fly with them back here because we are close relatives,” Georgiyev said.