Wisconsin family mourns Ukrainian-American man who helped them adopt their children

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Plymouth, Wis. (CBS 58) --- Russia's invasion of Ukraine has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians, including a man named Serge Zevlever, a Ukrainian-American adoption facilitator.

Zevlever helped hundreds of special needs children find adoptive parents in the U.S. and beyond. His work spans 25 years and those who knew him say it was his passion. 

Days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Zevlever was killed by snipers just outside a bomb shelter in Kyiv. He was 62-years-old.

Brian and Laurie Harlin live in Plymouth, Wisconsin and say Serge was a hero. He helped them with the adoptions of five of their children. The Harlins have 12 children total. Two are biological and nine are adopted. Of the nine, five of their children are from Ukraine.

"Serge is the facilitator that helped us when we were in Ukraine. Amazing man," said Brian Harlin.

"He knows the system so well and he has a whole team but when you run into a problem, Serge is the one who steps in and takes care of it," said Laurie.

The Harlins say Serge's death shows that Russians are targeting civilians. "He was just helping people like he always does," said Laurie.

She says Serge will be missed and his influence is irreplaceable. "I don’t know what they're going to do without him," she said.

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