Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Minnesota Woman Says Son Was Taken by Russian Forces in Ukraine

Tina Hauser last spoke to her son, Tyler, on Saturday when he told her he was being forced by the Russian military to board a bus out of Kherson

A southern Minnesota mother says she has lost contact with her son in Ukraine and fears the worst about his safety.

Tina Hauser, of Winona, tells NBC affiliate WEAU the last time she spoke with her son, Tyler, was Saturday when he told her he was being forced by the Russian military to board a bus out of Kherson and leave his Ukrainian wife and daughter behind.

"I’m very fearful because I just want to know he’s safe,” Hauser said through tears. “I want to see proof that he’s alive, and that he’s healthy, I don’t want a mother’s worst fear to come true.”

Hauser said her son moved to Ukraine in November 2021 and worked as an English instructor. She said rising tensions between the two countries left her anxious, but Tyler adamant about staying with his wife in Ukraine. The two were in constant contact, and even more so after Russia invaded Ukraine three weeks ago.

“On Saturday, I got the phone call at 4:30 in the morning, and he’s like 'mom, I don’t know what to do, there’s buses here in the city and they’re taking only the foreigners,'” Hauser told WEAU. “He gets on the bus and we were texting back and forth until about 8:00 in the morning, and then once he must have got over the border, I didn’t get any more communication, I have not talked to him since.”

Hauser says she has called the U.S. Embassy but has not heard back. She has also reached out to Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s office for help. Klobuchar said in a statement her office was working with the State Department and U.S. embassy in Moscow to resolve the situation.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a message Wednesday about Hauser's son.

A man named Zainish Hussain walked through the city of Kherson on Wednesday, showing quiet, empty streets, an ATM that appears to have run out of cash and long grocery lines.

Click here for complete coverage of the crisis in Ukraine.

The Associated Press/NBC
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