North East-based Ukrainian couple tell of horror and fears for family over Russian invasion
Written by Dylan Taylor on 24th February 2022
A Ukrainian living in the North East has described how he and his wife woke up in tears this morning after receiving emotional messages from relatives in their homeland confirming Russia’s invasion.
While Roman Slavinskiy expects a huge exodus of women and children from Ukraine as Russian forces continue to advance, he says the men of the country will defend their nation “to the last drop of blood”.
But he has warned the UK and other Western countries that they face a situation similar to that created by Germany’s invasion of neighbouring countries ahead of World War II if they do not act decisively against Russia.
Roman, 32, and a delivery driver based in Newcastle, told SparkSunderland of the moment early this morning when loved ones in Ukraine confirmed his worst expectations: that his hometown of Chernivtsi was under attack.
“This morning my wife Alina woke up and saw a lot of messages on the phone from my mother and friends all writing one thing: ‘We were attacked – we are bombed’,” he said.
“My wife woke me up in tears. So we talked and called home every 10-15 minutes after that.”
Roman added: “It’s what we expected, we all knew that Russia would attack Ukraine. But Ukrainians hoped that Russia would change its mind.
“In my hometown of Chernivtsi, so far many people, namely women and children, are leaving Ukraine.
“But men who have never held a weapon in their hands will defend Ukraine to the last drop of blood, my friends have said.
“And although my mother-in-law works in a hospital in Kyiv, she remains there and will not leave Kyiv.”
And looking further ahead, Roman had a clear message for the UK and other Western governments.
“The response to this event should be unanimous in order to help Ukraine in various ways, so that Europe cannot be next.
“Let us recall 1938 when Germany occupied first Austria and then France and Poland. After that, it lasted until 1945. Therefore, we must act now together resist the occupiers
“Britain has already helped a lot and we thank you for that.
“But you understand that we will not be able to repel one of the largest armies in the world with weapons. So if there are volunteers who want to help Ukraine and Ukrainians, we will protect the British in the future.”
And Roman had a parting shot for Russian president Vladimir Putin, branding him a coward and on a par with Hitler.
“Russia, like Hitler, attacked in the morning when the civilians were asleep. The CHILDREN were asleep, and they launched an air strike – cruelly.”