Guyanese/Ukrainian, unable to get into Ukraine, anxious about safety of family


A Guyanese husband and father, the only Guyanese known to reside in Ukraine, is anxious about the safety of his wife and daughter.

Shawn Parasram, formerly of Enmore, East Coast Demerara, was working at sea when Russia invaded Ukraine. He is employed by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Parasram moved to Ukraine eight years ago. He described the country as “amazing” and having “no issues at all”.

His wife Yuliya and daughter Emilia are in Odessa, Ukraine’s third most populous city. He told the News Room that his wife witnessed gunfire approximately two kilometers from where she is.

“Like about two kilometers if I’m not mistaken, she saw gunfire with the Russian army and she was scared because my daughter was there,” he shared.

Shawn Parasram, his wife Yuliya and daughter Emilia

His wife and daughter, along with other relatives, will retreat to a bunker located under their apartment in Odessa for safety.

Speaking to his daughter, Parasram told her that “there will be shooting but just don’t worry about it”.

His young daughter communicated to him that if she sends him a smiley face with a heart “everything is good”, however, if she sends a sad face “everything is not good”.

Based on the situation in Ukraine, a friend of Parasram who is in the Ukrainian Armed Forces advised him that his family should evacuate the city. His family hopes to leave the city to a safe area near the border with Moldova.

“It’s my wife and daughter lives at stake at this moment, and not just their lives it’s the entire Ukraine, I’m just hoping for the best and I wish I could’ve been there to assist and maneuver and make decisions in terms of their life,” Parasram said.

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