‘He gives me strength’: Man with infant escapes Russians

NewsNation PRIME

(NewsNation) — Six weeks ago, Alex Dayrabekov and his wife celebrated the arrival of their new son, Arthur. He was healthy and progressing as most babies do.

About two weeks later, Arthur began fussing at 4 a.m. Dayrabekov woke up to tend to him, and turned on the news in the background.

That’s when Dayrabekov learned the Russian invasion was beginning. It was Feb. 24.

His family lived in Irpin, just west of the capital city of Kyiv. Their home is four miles from a military air base that was one of the first targets. The family cats hid under the couch as planes flying overhead shook their home.

They decided to abandon their home two days into the war. At the same time, Dayrabekov says his son has given him “a lot of strength.”

“Every time I talk to him, I tell him he’s a warrior,” Dayrabekov said on “NewsNation Prime.” “Being born in war is already bravery in itself.”

Dayrabekov began chronicling his family’s evacuation in videos posted on Twitter. He’s shown surreal clips of Arthur hiccupping with air raid sirens in the background and photos of the charred remains of once-proud buildings.

It began as a way to chronicle what was really happening for his extended family in Russia and Kazakhstan.

“We know they are seeing lies,” Dayrabekov said. “I just wanted them to see what I see.”

But it didn’t work. His family rejected his videos, so Dayrabekov now records them in English, for people in the West to see.

“I’ve never thought of being a blogger or anything like that,” he said. “When the war started, I thought I needed to spread the word about what is happening here.”

He says he and his family are safe now, but did not say where they are. He has two older sons, ages 25 and 17, who moved out of the country before the war started.

Dayrabekov has an optimistic view of his youngest son’s life. Arthur is not the only person to be born into such horrible circumstances, he says. John Lennon of the Beatles was born the same month Adolf Hitler bombed his home city of Liverpool, England.

“After this terror, nothing is so scary,” Dayrabekov said.

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