x
Breaking News
More () »

'I know it was hard for my mom, but she made it': Ukrainian mother reunited with daughter for Mother's Day

Anna Hansen first reached out to U.S. Senator Klobuchar’s office in April, asking to help expedite her mother's visa petition.

MINNEAPOLIS — “After February 24th, everyone’s life got changed," said Anna Hansen.

Hansen sat next to her mother — Valentyna Zinchenko — more than a week after the two were reunited.

"So relieved, so happy," said Anna.

Anna, a Ukrainian graduate student at Minnesota State University Mankato, first reached out to U.S. Senator Klobuchar’s office in April, asking to help expedite her mother’s pending visa petition.

"Her mother was in a really bad place in Ukraine, Kharkiv — which is one of the hardest hit towns and it’s in [the] northeast part of Ukraine where Vladimir Putin targeted," said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. "Her mom had a successful business and life, and then the bombing started.”

Senator Klobuchar’s office reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Germany, securing approval for Valentyna’s visa petition.

After a 36-hour train ride to Poland, Anna and her mom were finally reunited in Germany, before returning to the U.S. on April 28.

"I know it was hard for my mom, but she made it," said Anna.

While Valentyna’s case is one of many, Senator Klobuchar says, "I think we’ve helped 100 people now with their cases, who have someone they’re related to, to help them come back."

Anna says she’s grateful her mother was there for her graduation. The two even spotting their native flag at the ceremony. "She says it was a very proud moment,” said Anna.

They’re spending their first Mother’s Day together in the United States, while  keeping those back home close to their hearts.

Back in March, Senator Klobuchar helped secure the release of Tyler Jacob, a Winona native unjustly detained by Russian forces.

During the same month, Senator Klobuchar also pushed the Biden administration to grant temporary protected status for Ukrainians living in the U.S., to prevent them from being forced to return to Ukraine during conflict.