Brave Ukrainians heading BACK into warzone from Poland say ‘no-one believes Russia’ – World News


The Mirror spoke with brave Ukrainians – including families with young children – waiting to catch the return journey BACK to Ukraine from Poland one afternoon this week

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Tania Holiuk talks about situation back in Ukraine with her family

As millions flee Vladamir Putin ’s bombs raining down on Ukraine, hundreds of brave people are heading back to their home country.

Some are returning home, others rescuing relatives, while young men want to join the army and protect their homeland.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates 10 million people have now fled their homes in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion.

This includes 3.5 million who have left for neighbouring countries, and another 6.5 million displaced inside the war-torn country.

One afternoon this week more than 1,300 desperate refugees caught the train from Lviv, across the border to the safety of Przemysl, Poland.

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Luda Burlachenko, 43, is returning to her home in Odessa


©Stan Kujawa)

Luda said Ukraine was where her heart is


©Stan Kujawa)

But as they stepped off the train, around 300 people – including families with young children – were waiting to catch the return journey back to Ukraine.

Luda Burlachenko, 43, was returning home to Odessa, on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine, after taking her mother and daughter to the safety of Poland.

Speaking as she waited for a train in Przemysl she said: “This is not my home. My heart is not here.

“I’m tired, I just want to get to Odessa, to get back home. It’s quiet there, it’s alright.”

Luda thinks she’ll be OK in Odessa


©Stan Kujawa)

Her planned journey would take her first to Lviv, and then south to Odessa.

“I left Ukraine two weeks ago with my mother and daughter. My sister lives in Warsaw. I was trying to find an apartment there, a job.

“But it’s so hard. My mother and daughter are staying, but I want to go home.

“All my family are here now, in Poland. My sisters, daughter, mother. It’s just me that wants to go home.

“They are afraid to come back because of the war. I am scared, I am afraid.

“But it is my home. When the war is over they will all go back.

“I live near the airport, so I know it is dangerous. A lot of people have left Kharkiv and Mariupol. What has happened there is so sad, so terrible.

“But Odessa is in a better situation. It is upsetting what is happening in my country. Odessa is a beautiful city.

Misha Malyarenko, (R) 28, and his friend Roman (L), 21


©Stan Kujawa)

“What Russia is doing is not necessary. They are killing people, children, for nothing. They should stop. I pray for them to stop.”

Misha Malyarenko, 28, and his friend Roman, 21, were returning to Ukraine to volunteer in the army.

The friends have been working in Poland on building sites and in warehouses for the past three years.

But following Putin’s invasion of their country they are willing to fight.

Misha, originally from Myrhorod, said: “On the first day rockets and missiles fell on my town. There is an army base there, it is a military town.

“We are going back to Ukraine. It is important we go back to our country.

“My father is in Kyiv, he is working as a volunteer, as a cook for the army. So first we will go there.”

Misha and Roman were returning to Ukraine to volunteer in the army


©Stan Kujawa)

He told how he had previously served for his country in 2014 during the Maidan revolution which saw the country’s Russia-friendly president, Viktor Yanukovych, ousted from office.

Anna Andresyuk, 26, from Kyiv, was returning to her country from Poland to rescue her mum – but said her grandparents refused to leave.

She told how she had been on holiday in Mexico with her husband when the war started, meaning they couldn’t fly home.

“I’m going to Lviv to get my mum and bring her back. She has been living in a basement in Kyiv, but now she has made it out. I will get her and we will leave again,” she said.

Anna Andresyuk, 26, from Kyiv


©Stan Kujawa)

“My grandparents are refusing to leave. They are waiting for Ukraine’s victory.

“When the war started on 24 February I was on holiday. We were due to fly home on the 26th. We flew to Istanbul but were stuck there. Then we stayed with friends in Poland. We are renting a flat in Lodz.”

She said she has relatives in Chernigov, in northern Ukraine, not far from the Belarus border.

Ann said her grandparents are refusing to leave


©Stan Kujawa)

“They have been bombed and bombed. It is terrible, they have no water, no electricity, no internet, only a gas stove.

“They only turn their phones on once a day to call us, to say ‘we are still alive’.

“They would like to leave, but it is super dangerous. Russian soldiers shoot civilian’s cars as they try to get out from a ruined city.”

She added: “We are afraid Europe will get used to this war. Ukraine really wants to be part of Europe.

“Nobody believes the fake propaganda of Russia. We dream of being part of Europe. Tell the world this.”

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