Utah man works to get fiancée, son in Ukraine out of harm's way

Posted at 9:22 PM, Feb 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 10:40:59-05

TREMONTON, Utah — As Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, many people are trying to get their loved ones to safety.

Clark Smith lives in Tremonton and has been in constant communication with his fiancée, Julia Martyniuk.

"These three days, we not sleep, not eat, we just try to be strong," said Martyniuk.

Martyniuk lives in Kyiv, Ukraine's capital city, with her 10-year-old son.

"It's no grocery store, no ... food, nothing, because... all store[s], pharmac[ies], everything, like, closed," she said.

Back here in Utah, Smith is both anxious and worried for their safety.

"Tuesday of this last week, she woke up and every, every day since, she wakes up to missiles being dropped around her head, explosions and gunfire and around her home. You could see smoke billowing," said Smith. "They are expecting to get bombed by Russia tonight."

READ: Utah governor, lieutenant governor holding pro-Ukraine rally Monday outside state capitol

Smith says he was just in Ukraine last month and that everything was pretty quiet — which makes it hard for him to see how fast things have changed so fast.

He says he's doing what he can here to try and get the woman he plans to marry and her son out of harm's way.

"My wife would love to go to Poland right now. Their borders are open to all Ukrainian refugees," he said.

Smith tells FOX 13 News he has contacted the offices of Sens. Mike Lee and Mitt Romney to see what they can do to help.

For now, Martyniuk is doing what she can to remain optimistic.

"It's hard time, but we know it's going to be okay," she said.

Both Martyniuk and Smith say they are just hoping for the best possible outcome.

"For me, myself, that I can get my wife to safety. I would love for her to be home here in Utah in my arms," said Smith.

Smith and Martyniuk ended a phone call earlier Sunday by making sure they let each other know how much they love one another.

While they have known each other for three years, they both say the invasion by Russia and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has kept them apart at times.

Smith says Ukraine could use any and all assistance right now to help people reunite with their loved ones, just like he's trying to do with his fiancée and her son.