Young woman who fled Ukraine is now being looked after by her family in Harborough
She has travelled to the UK through a Government scheme, leaving her 18-year-old brother and parents still in Ukraine
Valeriia is staying with her Ukrainian aunt Natalya McTernan here after managing to escape ferocious fighting as heavy Russian forces attacked her hometown of Bucha.
She has travelled to the UK through a Government scheme, leaving her 18-year-old brother and parents still in Ukraine.
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Valeriia went along with hundreds of others to support a special fundraising event in Market Harborough town centre on Saturday (March 26) to back the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Appeal.
Her aunt Natalya, 47, who’s lived in Market Harborough for eight years after emigrating from Ukraine, told the Harborough Mail: “Valeriia is pleased to be here in England and just happy that she’s safe.
“But she’s obviously very worried for the safety of her family and loved ones still in Ukraine.
“We all keep in touch with each other as much as we can because this is such a terrifying time for our homeland,” said Natalya.
“Valeriia will feel better as soon as she can get a job here.
“She’s very keen to try to get some work as soon as possible but it will take some time to sort everything out.
“Valeriia was studying marketing at university in Ukraine and she worked in a shop to earn some money.
“She’s hoping to study online here.
“She wasn’t feeling well when this terrible war broke out,” said the mum-of-two.
“Valeriia is OK physically now but emotionally it’s clearly very hard.
“She’s on the phone to her parents and family but it’s an incredibly stressful, worrying time for all of us Ukrainians.
“My brother only moved in to their new home in Bucha near our capital city Kyiv two years ago.
“Now they don’t even know if it’s still there, it might have been blown up by the Russians.
“It’s very tough not even knowing if your home is still standing.
“The first thing I’ve done every day since the Russians invaded our country on Thursday February 24 is to contact my family over there to make sure that they’re all still alive, that they are still all right.
“Putin and Russia should just get out,” insisted Natalya, a manager at Rosewood Manor care home on Coventry Road, Market Harborough.
“There are so many blood ties between the two countries.
“My mum is Russian while my dad’s Ukrainian.
“My mum’s got a lot of family in Russia who don’t believe what’s going on in Ukraine.
“She’s heartbroken because she’s not talking to them any more,” said Natalya.
“It’s going to take generations before we get back to where we were before this war.
“Valeriia would like to go back to Ukraine one day because it’s her home and where her family lives.
“But who knows how long that’s going to take?
“I do feel better that Ukraine is not fighting this war alone.
“We are just little while Russia is massive.
“So we do really appreciate the support of countries like the UK because we simply could not survive by ourselves,” said Natalya.