TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Tampa woman is one of a growing number of Americans stranded in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine.
Zhanna Mestas was on a flight back to the Tampa Bay area, when the plane was forced to return to Russia because of restrictions in Canadian airspace.
“She was taking care of her mother and then on Sunday she was supposed to fly home,” said her husband Joe Mestas. “They traveled about 4 or 5 hours into their flight, they were halfway to JFK, and then the plane received orders to turn back to Russia. Everyone was really upset on the plane.”
Zhanna’s husband Joe, who is at their home in Tampa, was distraught.
“I’m a grown man and I’ll have to admit that I cried because I was concerned,” Mestas said.
Since Sunday he has been fighting to get his wife home.
“I called state department three times trying to get information, trying to find out how they were going to get out of Russia and they were not very helpful,” he told News Channel 8.
His wife is staying with family in Moscow and has managed to book a flight home on March 7. The flight is scheduled to go into Turkey, and then to the United States.
“If they allow it everything should be good. I’m just hoping that nothing happens between now and the time that she flies out,” Mestas said.