Ievgeniia Kuscherenko has been left inconsolable over her fallen son Glib Babich, who was killed on the frontline.
The mother said she has been told if she goes back for the 53-year-old’s funeral she would forfeit her humanitarian visa.
This is despite the fact that she has a plea from the Ukraine embassy “to consider as an exception a possibility for her current visa to remain in force” in “tragic circumstances”.
Her friend Larysa Williams has described the situation as “absurd”.
“Mums, they cannot come to bury their children?” Williams said.
In a letter to Kuscherenko, the home affairs department said “Ukrainian nationals who hold a subclass 449 can depart Australia if they want to”.
“Visas will however, cease upon departure. There are no exemptions to this policy,” the letter said.
Her daughter-in-law Katya Kucherenko said there “must be more than a generic response”.
“Especially for a mother who needs to and must say goodbye to her son,” Kucherenko said.
If Kuscherenko takes the risk she will rejoin visa application limbo in a hometown shelled repeatedly.
Jockey Craig Williams met Babich on a recent aid mission to Ukraine.
“More than likely then her other son would have to go back and bury his mother,” Williams said.
“We’re hoping that the new immigration minister is able to look into this matter, and be able to get the right outcome.”
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The Minister Andrew Giles’ office says the mother can apply for a new visa but immigration lawyers have told the family that getting one again will be difficult.
Kuscherenko’s daughter-in-law said the family is “hoping for a miracle”.