LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Ukrainian family with ties to a show on the Strip fled their country to come to Las Vegas. They left two sons behind to fight the war and arrived in the city with just two suitcases.
“They used to live in Las Vegas because he was a performer for Cirque du Soleil. And they used to live here while the contract was on,” 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 be a family.
They had lived there until the war with Russia started.
“At first from Kiyv the bombing was far,” Elena Kiryanova said. “And later it started coming closer. And then the kids started getting scared. And the little one, every time she would hear a siren, she would hide under the table.”
In Las Vegas, their long time friend and translator, Katia Simomeko, reached out to lend a hand.
“Since the war started, we started contacting them,” Simomeko said. “And we told them right away we are going to help with anything if they can get here.”
Within two weeks, they arrived with very little belongings and two small children, looking to build a new life in our city.
“They liked Vegas always,” Kiryanova said. “And they left and they think that it’s really a sign that they are here, because they came back.”
Now, they’re starting over with a dream to one day open a school and teach acrobatics to young children.
“They would like to have a studio here, a circus studio if they had money,” Simomeko added.