Ukraine: Scottish man stranded in Kharkiv discusses his situation
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Sean Cusick from Glasgow spoke with LBC Radio journalist Alan Zycinski, Mr Cusick described waking up to missiles being dropped on his city Kharkiv. Russian President Putin invaded neighbouring Ukraine, despite warnings of sanctions from Western leaders. Mr Cusick appeared visibly upset as he held back tears, as he described having no money and no way to leave Ukraine due to not having the correct documents and lack of help from the UK Government. Mr Cusick also discussed how the Russian military bombed major airports to stop civilians from fleeing, making travel by train one of the only ways to safely leave.
Mr Zycinski said: “Yeah, I can’t talk, I’m trying to control crying, I need help.
“Yeah, woken up at 4.45 in the morning with huge explosions and earthquakes, I felt them first and then I started to hear like a thump and a rumble… Again and again.
“We’ve prepared our go bags, we have a shelter nearby and we’ve been told by the authorities to stay home.
“Told by the UK Government to stay home if you can’t leave, and we can’t leave, all the airports in Ukraine have been attacked and they’re not usable.
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Mr Zycinski said: “I’ll need to take a few day train journey just to get close to a border.
“The trains are currently running but are slow in pace, but yeah, I don’t have the money to get a train.
“I came to Ukraine to get married to my partner in October last year, we got married in November and since then we’ve been trying to leave.
“My partner and her child… She’s been living in China for ten years our son is two years old.
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Mr Zycinski said: “We’ve been trying to leave, she doesn’t have documents. we were supposed to pick up her national ID today, but obviously, that’s probably not going to happen.
“She needs that ID to apply for a renewal of passport, we’ve been trying to contact the UK Government, but the UK Government says they’re going to wave visa fees for UK citizens that reside in Ukraine.
“I don’t reside in Ukraine, so they said I’m not eligible, like everyone else I’ve been hit pretty hard by Covid because of trying to get my partner out of China and then come here, I have nothing, I don’t have money for rent, I don’t have money for food.”
Mr Cusick’s story is not the only one, as many UK citizens have taken to social media to share what’s going on in Ukraine and to plead for help to get to safety outside of the country.
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Junior Defence Minister, James Heappey urged Brits to leave Ukraine on Sky News last week, just days before the invasion Russian invasion.
James Heappey said: “British nationals should leave Ukraine immediately by any means possible and they should not expect, as they saw in the summer with Afghanistan, that there would be any possibility of a military evacuation.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Office priority remains supporting British Nationals and their families who want to leave Ukraine and UKVI are working around the clock to process visa applications.
“These applications are being prioritised and, where we have all relevant information, we will aim to process within 24 hours and issue to the person as soon as possible. We will not be able to conclude all cases within that timescale but will aim to contact the applicant advising what is needed.”
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