Skip to Content

‘We will be the winner’: Ukrainian couple in Coachella Valley responds to Russian escalation

Ukrainians this week are mourning the dozens of people who were killed in missile strikes launched by Russia, most of them at civilian targets.

News Channel 3 spoke to a Ukrainian refugee couple who has settled in the Coachella Valley about their response to the escalation in the war.

Tetiana and Volodmyr Kotenko have been in the Coachella Valley since July. They fled Ukraine in March a few weeks after the Russian Ukrainian conflict began.

"Russia bombed Kyiv and one bomb fell from our home near half a mile. It's very scary," Tetiana Kotenko said.

The couple has been taken in by a Rancho Mirage family and over the last few months they've been working to adjust to their new life in the Coachella Valley.

They arrived speaking almost no English but have been studying hard – and are now looking for work.

A Facebook post they put on a local neighborhood group is getting the attention of hundreds, and they've received more job leads than they've been able to respond to.

"I have many interesting offers about jobs: it's restaurants, it's golf clubs, it's country clubs," Kotenko said.

As Putin escalates war tactics in already hard-hit Ukraine, deadly air strikes aimed at mostly civilian targets across the country have left dozens dead.

"When we saw how again many bombs fell on center of our city Kyiv... we're scared very much; we worry about our friends, our family," Kotenko said.

They said being away from home is hard, but they are strong, just as are those they left behind in Ukraine. And in the future, they foresee victory over Russia.

"We will be the winner," Kotenko said.

Article Topic Follows: News
Author Profile Photo

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.


News Channel 3 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content