Russian invasion of Ukraine: Arizona realtor hopes to help Ukrainian refugees find shelter in Europe

A view of a building damaged as a result of shelling of the city by Russian missiles in the center of Kharkiv, Ukraine. (Photo by Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

People in Arizona are still doing whatever they can to support Ukrainians who have been displaced by the ongoing Russian invasion of their country, and one realtor in Phoenix is gathering support in a unique way.

Oleg Bortman, who was born in Ukraine, is helping to find housing for the refugees. Bortman is hoping to broker housing deals for Ukrainian refugees with those who own property or properties in Europe.

"Anything I can do," said Bortman. "I feel an obligation to the country I was born in. The pictures I've seen from out there, hospitals being blown up, apartments being blown up, it's devastating."

Bortman said many mothers and children are leaving Ukraine without their husbands to seek safety, while their spouses stay behind and fight for their country.

"Ukrainian people are very resilient," said Bortman. "They have a motto: live free or die. So the spouses are staying behind to fight for their freedoms, and they want to protect their kids and grandparents. Even a lot of parents will stay if their son is fighting. They will pick up a gun at age 70 or 80 just to protect their country."

Bortman and his cousin know several refugees who have nowhere to go, and are asking for help from Arizonans who have ties in Europe, and are willing to provide shelter and food for the displaced families.

"Spain, Finland, Poland, Hungary. Anyone that has connections in Europe, I will coordinate," said Bortman.

Contact information for Bortman


Phone: 602-402-2296

Continuing Coverage of the Invasion of Ukraine

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