War in Ukraine: "We believe in our president and in our country."

Hornik, Tetiana

When Russia invaded Ukraine one year ago, war broke out. Since that time, countless Ukrainians have fled to the UK in search of safety. What do they recall about the start of the war and how do they currently live in the UK?

Tetiana Hornik
Tetiana Hornik, a Ukrainian refugee, claims that being separated from her husband, who is in Ukraine, is difficult.

Tetiana Hornik and her two kids left the occupied south-east of Ukraine two and a half months ago.

She claims that the beginning of the war brought back "really painful memories.".

She claims that when she opened her window in the morning "after that panic," she heard the sounds of rockets and sirens.

We were lost as to where to flee, she claims.

Without food in the stores, without access to medicine, and without hope, according to Mrs. Hornik, it was "really a terrible time.".

She made the decision to leave Ukraine at the beginning of December, leaving her husband behind who is still a police officer.

She traveled to Rushden, Northamptonshire, to see her sponsors, who, according to her, have been "supporting" her and her family.

We have received so much love, she says, "I don't know how I can express my gratitude to everyone and our host family.".

When asked about her desire to return to her native Ukraine, Mrs. Hornik, a former teacher there, said: "Sometimes I want to go back home, but I'm a mother and for my kids I can do [anything]. I can live in another country. I can study English. I want the best things for my kids.

"My husband defends our nation, and I ought to defend our children because I want them to have a happy childhood," I said.

"Every one of my friends supports Ukraine and our soldiers.

"We have faith in our country and in our president. ".

Elena Zubyk
Elena Zubyk, a refugee, had to pass through Russia to reach safety.

Elena Zubyk, who was a resident of Melitopol at the time of the Russian invasion, recalls receiving a call from her son at a very early hour and being told to quickly pack up the family and leave.

"I saw a lot of houses completely destroyed, and as I stood there in a state of shock, I begged God to save our children. ".

She claims that she and her family took refuge in an underground garage from the rockets.

"We believe we will pass away; each day, we prayed that we pass away quickly and together," she says.

Before being able to go home, according to Mrs. Zubyk, she and her family were forced to spend three nights in the garage.

After spending three months in Melitopol, she claims she felt "we must escape.".

It was a miracle that I was able to locate one English family who purchased a plane ticket for us, she claims.

However, her husband was forced to travel with the family through Russia, which she compared to "a terrible movie.".

We tried to speak only Russian and deleted everything from our phones, she claims.

"I will never forget entering Georgia. I started crying because it was so lovely and freeing. ".

She made herself at home in Duston, a town close to Northampton, after settling in with her host family in Harpole, Northamptonshire, in November.

According to the Ukrainian, she was given the "opportunity for a real, normal life, my children" by her sponsors. just rest without worrying about passing away.

Her husband travels between the UK and Ukraine to deliver supplies while he is employed in logistics.

Everyone from Ukraine is now present everywhere, but we still make every effort to bring our victory closer, she claims.

Solomiia Blagitko
Solomiia Blagitko, a Ukrainian, claimed that it took her 12 hours to leave Kyiv.

Solomiia Blagitko spent 20 years living in Kiev and was present when hostilities started.

We took a few minutes to realize that it had actually begun because it seemed impossible that it would reach Kyiv or actually occur.

She and her husband prepared suitcases for themselves and their three kids, but her husband went to continue his logistics work while she and the kids fled.

On the day the war began, according to Mrs. Blagitko, people were only wearing "pyjamas and jackets" in the cars leaving Kyiv.

She continues, "We just stayed in the car, prayed, and moved centimeter by centimeter. It took us 12 hours to get out of the city. ".

According to her, she was acting on "instinct and shock.".

Under the Homes for Ukraine program, the Ukrainian was able to visit her hosts in Northamptonshire in the summer.

She used to run a kindergarten in her native country and claims to still be in touch with her relatives. She adds, "We are still waiting for one to get back to kindergarten."

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