Belarus Native Travelng in US Until Putin War Ends


Pasha Tereshkovets, 34, in Portland Late Last Week.

Pasha Tereshkovets 34, doesn’t know when  he’ll get to see his family again.  That’s because his home is Belarus and that’s where his parents and brother live.  Russia borders Belarus to the east and Ukraine is its border to the south.  He wants to go home, but knows he can’t until Putin’s war in Ukraine is over.  And no one knows when that will happen.

Back on December 21, 2021, Pasha returned to the United States for the second time in his young life  to travel around the country.  His goal was to travel to all US states.  So far, he has traveled to 32 states he said.  He camps everywhere he goes.  “I woke up in February and saw the news that Russia had attacked Ukraine,” he said at a bookstore where he was browsing.

“Everyone is scared that the war will come to Belarus. My parents have told me to stay away until it all clears up.  It could be a long time,” he said.  His family lives only 100 miles from the Ukrainian border.  Pasha continued that any kind of war is wrong.  “But if you look at world history in the 20th century, there is probably not a day that there isn’t a war somewhere,” he said in perfect English.  “We feel threatened.  It’s like a big pile of nuclear weapons sitting right next to us.”

Pasha said that his parents have told him about World War 11,although he did not want to go into any more detail about it.  During World War 11, Belarus, a land-locked country, was devastated by military operations there.  The country lost about a quarter of its population and half of its economic resources.  It’s major export today is salt.  In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation – forming the Union State.

Back in 2012, Pasha came to the US to live.  For five years, he lived in San Francisco But in 2017 he returned home to Belarus.  His goal of visiting all US states unrealized, he returned to the US last December.

Pasha is a fiction writer.  He has written five novels.  One, “In Delirium” was published last year in a Russian lit magazine:  “Volga.”  He is currently editing the second novel he wrote. He plans on submitting an article soon to a major US magazine, although he knows that will be a challenge. Pasha is confident that he will see his family again.  He just doesn’t know when that will happen.  Or when the War on Ukraine will end.  ‘I’ll find a way to see my family again.  There’s always a way.”

“Love each other.  Create and hold onto new and exciting dreams,” he said as he set off to pick up a lobster roll at a nearby restaurant.  A new adventure.