Ukrainians in Hull recount their most difficult year

CBS News

On the anniversary of the Russian invasion, a breakfast gathering was held at a Ukrainian restaurant in Hull.

At the beginning of the war, which has claimed thousands of lives and wreaked havoc on the nation, refugees who had fled the conflict joined local supporters.

Flags were flying and vigils were being held in Queen Victoria sq\., among other events happening all over the city.

Lena Sutherland, the owner of a cafe with Ukrainian ancestry, claimed that the past year had been "the hardest year of our lives.".

She said, "I wish the war would end.

"I hate this war, I've already lost a lot of friends. ".

After falling in love with and marrying a local man who was in the merchant navy in the 1990s, Mrs. Sutherland relocated to Hull.

She opened the restaurant as a gathering place for refugees, many of whom work there, after coming out of retirement.

The local Ukrainian community is supported in part by the profits, which are also used to support the war-torn nation's aid efforts.

Lena Sutherland
The destruction of her homeland, according to Lena Sutherland, caused her to "cry.".

She said, "I spoke to girls who came this year from the east of Ukraine.".

"Their life is destroyed; they are not happy or have a life. It is difficult for them that they are unable to see their family.

"I wept alongside them because I have a home here in England and am content, but I can't be content knowing that my country is being destroyed. ".

To commemorate the anniversary, local supporters also showed up.

Five lorry loads of supplies left Hull for Kyiv under the leadership of Louis Ramsden from the lifeboat charity Humber Rescue.

He claimed that donations were still being made in Hull.

"People are still willing to give what they have, and we still have great support," he said.

"Of course, we are experiencing a cost-of-living crisis here, but I believe that most people are aware that there are more important issues at hand than just higher energy costs.

"People are losing their homes, and they have truly endured barbaric conditions, and everyone wants to help them and at least somewhat lessen their suffering and pain. ".

Bazhena Kukhot and Anastasiia Didyk
Students Bazhena Kukhot (L) and Anastasiia Didyk stated that exiles were appreciative of Hull residents' support.

Anastasiia Didyk, a student from Ukraine, called the invasion "a significant date in our history.".

She said, "This day changed everyone, and everyone remembers this day with pride and fear.".

"Proud of themselves, their nation, their army, and what they have contributed. We have a different life and different people as of February 24, 2022. " .

"This conflict altered us. Honoring this day is comparable to the founding of a new country. ".

According to a fellow student, Bazhena Kukhot, the Ukrainian refugees were extremely appreciative of the help that the community had provided.

She admitted that leaving her hometown, her country, and her family had been extremely difficult.

"It was difficult for us to arrive here alone, but the residents are incredibly helpful.".

"They gave us everything we needed, including clothes, toiletries, and everything, and we are incredibly grateful to them for that.

The life they just saved us.

. "

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