A Minnesota native working as a teacher in Ukraine has been released after he was detained by Russian forces.
Winona native Tyler Jacob, 28, moved to Ukraine last year to teach English. He lives in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson with his wife and daughter. The city fell under Russian control during the country’s attack on Ukraine. Jacob tried to leave, but he was told it was too dangerous.
Unable to work or earn money in the city, Jacob’s mother Tina Hauser set up a Venmo to help raise money for necessities. A GoFundMe was also set up.
But Hauser lost contact with Jacob last week. His family told WCCO that he was detained by Russian soldiers while trying to escape on an evacuation bus.
Hauser got into contact with the U.S. Embassy in Moscow but said it will "be a long slow process."
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who recently visited the region, had also been in contact with Jacob’s family. According to a Friday announcement from Klobuchar’s office, Jacob had been released from Russian custody and reunited with his wife and daughter.
“I am relieved that Tyler is safely reunited with his wife and daughter. 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,” Klobuchar said in a statement.
“While this is good news, my heart remains with all those separated from their loved ones or in danger. As Vladimir Putin continues his senseless war, our commitment to supporting the people of Ukraine is steadfast.”
Hauser thanked Klobuchar, along with State Department and Embassy officials, following Jacob’s release.
“This was a parent’s worst nightmare, but I can rest easy tonight knowing my son has made it to safety,” Hauser said in a statement.