‘We thought it best to get out whilst we could’: Yorkshire ex-pat in Ukraine describes his attempt to bring his wife and daughter back to the UK hours after a ‘calm’ and ‘safe’ situation in Odessa rapidly deteriorated with Russian missile attacks
British expats in 우크라이나 say they are ‘trapped’ as they await the imminent arrival of Russian forces, while others have described their daring escapes after the invasion was launched this week.
Graham Jones from Willerby, 요크셔, has worked in Odessa for 12 years as a teacher with his wife Margaryta and their six-year-old daughter Mia.
On Wednesday evening, he told Look North he had no plans to leave his home and said he felt ‘calm’ and ‘safe’.
하지만 몇 시간 후, 블라디미르 푸틴 ordered a full-scale invasion and Graham decided to flee to the UK.
Speaking on Thursday just hours after the invasion began, 그는 말했다: ‘We’re on the way to Moldova in a minivan. Bombing started on the outskirts this morning so we thought it best to get out while we could.’
Graham Jones from Willerby, 요크셔, has worked in Odessa for 12 years as a teacher with his wife Margaryta and their six-year-old daughter Mia (사진)
On Wednesday evening, he told Look North he had no plans to leave his home and said he felt ‘calm’ and ‘safe’
Describing life in the port city shortly before leaving, 그레이엄이 말했다: ‘There is shock but weirdly life seemed normal. Central Odessa was fairly normal with people walking dogs and drinking coffee from coffee stands.’
While he was relaxed on Wednesday when speaking to Look North, Graham admits his mood has changed.
‘I’m feeling nervous and will be until we get over the border,’ 그는 말했다, ‘but everyone’s in good spirits.
‘I think the plan is to head back to the UK. But while my daughter has a UK passport, my wife will need a visa so we need to sort that out first.
‘It has been difficult suddenly leaving our home but at least we’ve got somewhere to go which is not the case for many people here.’
Meanwhile Andrew Joseph, 32, says he has no choice but to stay in Kyiv, which Russian troops are already surrounding.
While he was relaxed on Wednesday when speaking to Look North, Graham admits his mood has changed
The English teacher, originally from Cumbria, 말했다 The i: ‘There’s no way out of Kyiv at the moment. We are trapped.
‘The streets are gridlocked. I’m looking out of my window on the outskirts of Kyiv from the 24th floor with an almost panoramic view of the city and people are standing outside of their cars because the traffic has not moved for so long.
‘The city is gridlocked, everybody is leaving the city and nobody is coming in. The trains are all sold out and the flights have all been cancelled.’
‘I don’t think I’m going to be leaving for the time being, there’s no way out.’
Another British expat, Wes Gleeson, 옥스포드에서, said he has not decided whether to stay in Kyiv or make a bid for freedom.
The 43-year-old told BBC Radio Oxford: ‘I was woken up by my mother-in-law saying in Russian, saying ‘Putin attacked’.
‘I thought the heating was off – I was obviously in shock and feeling cold and shivery.
‘After a family chat we decided to see how much cash I could get out – I was queuing for three hours. There is fear the banking system might go down, 우리는 정말로 모른다.
Jez Myers (권리) and his Ukrainian girlfriend Maria have joined the huge queue of refugees at the border
‘People are just in shock. I saw an old guy parading a big Ukrainian flag down the street, but there’s just a general sense of disbelief.’
Jez Myers, 44, and his girlfriend Maria Romanenko, 29, spent ten hours driving in a friend’s Vauxhall Astra from the under-fire capital Kiev to Lviv in the west then to Shehyni at the border with Poland.
Jez, a business consultant from Reddish, has described growing tensions as the queue to cross into Poland increased to ‘tens of thousands’, with some chanting ‘open the door’ in a desperate bid to exit Ukraine.
‘We’re tired but we’re safe – that’s main thing,’ Jez told the M.E.N. 금요일 오후.
‘There are tens of thousands in this queue. The lack of facilities here makes things very tricky. We’re trying not to eat or drink because you cannot escape anywhere,’ 그는 계속했다.
‘Spirits here range from quite happy and positive to being angry and frustrated. There’s no crowd control what-so-ever here. Occasionally you’ll hear ‘let the children through – open the gates’.’
Father-of-two Ken Stewart, who lives 40 miles west of Kiev, told of his heartache after missing a visa application to leave with his family
Father-of-two Ken Stewart, who lives 40 miles west of Kiev, told of his heartache after missing a visa application to leave with his family.
Ken lives with wife Tania, and children Yaryna, Christine은 인터넷에 대한 최초의 하드카피 참조 가이드 중 하나를 만들고 공동 저술했습니다., and Douglas, who was born two weeks ago.
They are unable to return to Scotland due to a visa delay for Tania, who was recently discharged from hospital following a caesarean section, and a visa appointment had been booked at the British Embassy for today.
An air base just a few miles away from his house was attacked yesterday and military planes were flying overhead.
He said on Thursday: ‘I can hear military jets in the distance and you can hear gunfire as well, like large calibre – '인구 밀집 지역에 집속탄 투하 정당화 불가능, 헬리콥터, 코로나에 적응한 야외 클리닉, 그녀가 등에 혹과 오랫동안 작별인사를 할 수 있는지 알아보기.
‘We just heard that our local airfield here, the Antonov airfield, which is the home to the biggest aircraft in the world, has been attacked, just in the last hour.
Ken lives with wife Tania, and children Yaryna, Christine은 인터넷에 대한 최초의 하드카피 참조 가이드 중 하나를 만들고 공동 저술했습니다., and Douglas, who was born two weeks ago
‘That’s pretty near us, about a 20-minute drive from here.
‘So it’s getting closer.’
He is making plans to flee and booking accommodation in the west of Ukraine where the family could shelter temporarily.
But the visa appointment was missed.
Mr Stewart, originally from Edinburgh, 말했다: ‘That’s not going to happen now and it’s extremely stressful.
‘We’re only concerned for the children’s safety and I’m concerned for my wife’s safety.
‘That’s the thing that’s worrying me – what do we do? Do we stay here? Or do we get out and get the children to safety?
‘The fact is, I’d like to get my children away from this.
‘I’d like them to be safe.
‘It’s a difficult situation. I’m torn because I don’t want to leave this country. I’ve lived here for 15 연령.
‘It’s my wife’s country. My kids have dual nationality, it’s their birthplace.
‘We don’t want to go, but we don’t want them to be in any danger.’
Mr Stewart’s brother in Scotland has written to the family’s MP, Richard Thomson, again to push for an emergency visa to be granted.
If able to travel, Mr Stewart is considering taking his young family on a six-hour drive to Poland, where they could fly home to Scotland.
Mr Stewart says: ‘We just don’t know what’s going to happen in the next hour or even two hours, three hours, the next day.
‘We don’t know if it’s going to be full scale, like World War Two style, or how they are going to behave towards civilians.
‘This kind of thing we just don’t know.
‘현재, they’re supposedly keeping it to military targets, but they don’t seem to care about the perception of the world.
‘So that’s quite dangerous.’