UPDATE: Winona native Russians detained in Ukraine released, Klobuchar announces

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Tyler Jacob, a Winona, Minn., native living in Ukraine whom Russian soldiers had detained has been released, according to U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

Jacob has reunited with his wife and daughter, according to a statement from Klobuchar’s office Friday.

“I am relieved that Tyler is safely reunited with his wife and daughter,” Klobuchar said. “Over the last two weeks, my team and I have been in close contact with his family, the State Department, and the U.S. embassy in Moscow working towards this outcome, and I am grateful that we were able to help bring him to safety.”

Jacob’s mother, Tina Hauser, said, “I am so ecstatic that Tyler is safe. This has been a harrowing experience, and I am so grateful to the officials in the State Department and embassy who helped us locate Tyler and get him out of Russia. I am especially grateful to Senator Klobuchar for her steadfast support through this whole process..

“This was a parent’s worst nightmare, but I can rest easy tonight knowing my son has made it to safety,” Hauser said.

Previous WKBT story:

WINONA, Minn. (WKBT) — This week, a Winona mom learned from a source in Ukraine that her son Tyler Jacob was detained by Russian military on his way out of the country.

Tyler moved to Ukraine in November to follow his heart and become a teacher. For Winona mom Tina Hauser, any little bit of communication has been her only line of hope since Russia invaded Ukraine.

“I would always cling to my phone to see if there was a message would come through or a call would come through to see if he was ok,” Tina said.

Until they lost touch this week. Tina last heard from her son last Saturday.

“He got on that bus and we were texting until about 8 a.m. that morning, and then we lost communication,” Tina said. “It’s an empty feeling inside.”

Tyler boarded a bus to Turkey, leaving his native Ukrainian wife and her daughter at home.

“He kind of pretty much had to go, being that he was a foreigner there and they were making all the foreigners have to leave,” Tina said.

Tyler was interviewed by Russian media on his way out, at one of the checkpoints along the route.

“I think these guys have a charter flight that they’re going to Turkey and I’m pretty sure I can ride with them,” Tyler told the Russian news outlet Ruptly.

Tina isn’t sure what happened next, but a friend of Tyler’s told his wife that he had been detained by the Russian military.

Tina was able to see the clips of Tyler from Ruptly.

“The last thing I know is that I watched him walk to the bus, and I don’t know if he got on that bus at that time,” Tina said.

She does not know what is next for Tyler. Back in Winona, she prays he is OK as time passes by.

“Right now, I’m hoping that somehow, some way I will at have proof he’s still alive,” Tina said.

Tyler’s Ukraine family remains near the Ukrainian city of Kherson. Tina reached out to Minnesota lawmakers… including U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who Tina says is working to make contacts and get Tyler home safe.

The family is also running a GoFundMe that aims to help get Tyler and his Ukrainian family home safely.

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