A mother who has fled Ukraine has been told that if she returns to the war-torn country to bury her fallen son, she will be banned from entering Australia.
Ievgeniia Kuscherenko sought safety in Melbourne but was left shattered after her son Glib Babich, 53, was killed on the front lines during Ukraine’s conflict with Russia.
She is now desperate to fly back for her son’s funeral, but authorities have told her that her humanitarian visa would then be forfeited and she would have to apply for another visa to return.
Ievgeniia Kuscherenko (pictured) remained inconsolable after her son Glib Babich was killed on the frontline in Ukraine
Glib Babich (pictured), lost his life in battle in the war-torn country this week. His mother said she was told that if she returns to Ukraine for the 53-year-old’s funeral, she will lose her humanitarian visa.
Ms Kuscherenko has been inconsolable since her son was murdered, while close friend Larysa Williams described the situation as “absurd”.
“Mommies, they can’t come and bury their children?” she said Nine news.
The mother has received a plea from the Ukrainian embassy to ask the Australian Ministry of the Interior to make an exception under ‘tragic circumstances’.
“We kindly request that, on an exceptional basis, you consider the possibility that her current visa will remain in effect, allowing her to return to Australia,” the letter from Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia, Vasyl Myroshnychenko, read.
Ms. Kuscherenko received a response from the Interior Department, but offered no solace.
‘However, visas expire upon departure. There are no exceptions to this policy,” the letter said.
Her daughter-in-law Katya Kucherenko wondered why more was not done.
“There has to be more than just a general answer, especially for a mother who has to and must say goodbye to her son,” she said.
“We hope for a miracle.”
Australian jockey Craig Williams, who met Babich on a recent relief mission to Ukraine, supports his grieving family.
He said that if Ms. Kuscherenko travels back to Ukraine, it is likely that her other son who is still alive “should go back to bury his mother.”
A spokesman for the immigration minister, Andrew Giles, said the mother can apply for a new visa to return to Australia.
Immigration lawyers, however, have told the family that it would not be an easy task.
Secretary Andrew Giles’ office said the mother can apply for a new visa if she goes to her son’s funeral, but immigration lawyers have told the family it will be difficult to get a visa again