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Woman speaks out as her family forced to hide during Ukraine invasion

todayFebruary 27, 2022 6

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A Ukrainian family have spoken of how their family is hiding as the Russian military advance through their county.

Lila Melnikevicova and her dad, Viktor Melnikevic, both have family in the Ukraine, which has been subject to an invasion since Thursday, February 24.

Viktor’s mum, sisters, brother and their children are still in Ternopil, a city in western Ukraine.

“It’s awful – they’re having to hide their garage as they are worrying about the fighting,” 17-year-old Lila told Nottinghamshire Live.

“One of my friends has managed to escape to Poland, and she’s trying to get to family in Holland.

“Yesterday we were calling one of my dad’s friends and the sirens sounded twice, he said ‘I’ve got to go and hide’.”

The pair had travelled to Nottingham from Stoke to take part in a vigil near Old Market Square, at the Brian Clough statue, on Sunday, February 27.

It was in opposition to the invasion, and called for more action by countries in the West as tens of thousands flee Ukraine.

Countless others, including Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy, have opted to remain in the capital, Kyiv, ready to defend it against the advancing Russian troops.

Sanctions have been placed on Russia as a result.

Lila said that she and her dad have encouraged her family to leave Ukraine, but they want to stay.

“We’ve told them to escape to Slovakia where we have family, but they don’t want to,” she continued.

“Because that is where they were born. They are preparing to go to war.”

Viktor described how some Russians and separatists had been painting markers and planting electronic devices in spots of his home city, signalling where Russian planes should attack.



Hundreds attended a vigil for Ukraine near Old Market Square
Hundreds attended a vigil for Ukraine near Old Market Square

The 48-year-old said he “couldn’t believe” the amount of support he has got from friends and colleagues in the UK.

“They say they are all with me, it’s unbelievable how good they’ve been.”

Also amongst the hundreds of demonstrators at the vigil were Robert Galij and Irka Zajac-Galij, who were born in Nottingham but raised as Ukrainians.

They said they had family who had been conscripted to the army in Lviv.

“Everything that’s happening is wrong,” said Robert, 62.

“Our parents fought the Russians, or Soviets, and now we have history repeating itself with a regime that is hell bent on maximising its sphere of influence.

“Our family’s city has been bombed from the north and south, it’s very raw and it’s happening now.”

Irka added: “lots more needs to be done, there needs to be more sanctions.”



Irka Zajac-Galij and Robert Galij
Irka Zajac-Galij and Robert Galij

Andriy Tymomiychuk, originally from Western Ukraine, says his friends and family have stayed to fight.

The 30-year-old, who was at the gathering along with friends, his mum and sister, said: “I’m here because I want Putin to stop.

“It’s horrific and heartbreaking. I’m surprised by the amount of support.

“Nobody would’ve thought that this could happen in the 21st century.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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