LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – More than a year after it started Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine continues to rage on.
Some of those caught in the middle have made their way to Las Vegas and are adjusting to their new life thanks to a nonprofit.
24-year-old Maria Ventsova was busy Wednesday morning putting together flowers to make a centerpiece.
It was a beautiful sight for her during a challenging time.
“I love Ukraine, I love Kyiv I have friends from Ukraine,” Ventsova said.
What some Americans might not expect is that Venstova is from Russia.
The love between her home country and Ukraine is now lost.
“Once you talk about it, you’re in danger,” she said. “I don’t want to be in danger for my opinions.”
Which is why Ventsova needed to flee.
Her journey from Moscow started last May when she traveled to the Dominican Republic, then to Costa Rica to Peru then Mexico to Utah, and finally to Las Vegas this past weekend.
It was with the help of Myriam Lopez, founder of a nonprofit group called Land to Land.
“There is nothing that keeps them safe here if they don’t have any ways to survive in an American society,” Lopez said.
Lopez is helping a handful of refugees adjust to the workforce by helping at her event planning business.
“I think it takes them away from having to think about what they left they left their homes, their professions, their families,” Lopez said.
As Venstova puts together her final touches on her floral centerpieces, there is a haunting thought of when the war back at home would end.
“I want to hope there is an end, there is I just don’t see where and when,” she said.
The goal for those refugees is to get work permits in a few months so they can start getting paid.