Steve Lucas’s wife, Anastasia, 51, lives in a Kyiv apartment with her cat Lucky. This is the capital of Ukraine, the prized target of the Russians who have invaded the country because Putin believes that Ukraine should be part of Russia. And in achieving that objective he is destroying the country and killing innocent people indiscriminately or they are targeted such as the maternity hospital in Mariupol which has outraged world leaders. Anastasia tells of dead people lying in the street when she runs to the nearest shelter and her windows rattling when the bombs explode. Kyiv is about to be destroyed. It will be horrific.
Anastasia was unable to get a Visa for the UK when they married five years ago in Ukraine. Things might be different now because she is a refugee from the Ukraine war but I have learnt and you may have heard that the UK Home Office is still making immigration for refugees into the UK difficult at Calais. I’ve heard that officials there are sending them to Paris or Brussels to complete the visa process. This, I believe, is unforgivable and the Home Secretary has been criticised for it.
Anyway, Anastasia told Steve that her apartment windows were shaking all the time from Russian bombs and missile attacks and that she needed to evacuate. It looks like Kyiv is being attacked. The world has waited for this moment. Steve is distressed as the rest of the world will be because Kyiv is a beautiful city and the capital of Ukraine.
The couple decided that she would take a train to Lviv in the west of the country, which has become a staging post to travel to Poland. The West of Ukraine is relatively untouched from the war at present and there has been a mess migration of refugees from the east to the west and thence to Poland where around 1.2 million refugees are crossing the border. In all there are currently about 2 million refugees from this war.
Anastasia and Lucky made it, no doubt with great difficulty, from Kyiv to Lviv. It was a nightmare journey. There are some horrendous pictures of refugees getting on trains in Kyiv. Anastasia and Lucky were kindly put up by strangers in their own home in Lviv and the last report that we have is that they are waiting for Steve to arrive to pick them up.
Steve drove his battered Citroen van 1,300 miles across Europe. He responded to Anastasia’s call to be rescued from her apartment and grabbed what he could and left his home to pick her up.
Anastasia was adamant, Steve said, that “she wouldn’t leave unless she found someone to look after her cat Lucky but in the end, he went with her”. Steve said that he took with him cat food, cat litter and a cat bed in the back of the van. He confirms that it was a nightmare journey for his wife. It must have been very tough for him too. He knew the route though as he has made the trip often before.
I think that the difficulties are not over because he now has to get himself, Anastasia his wife and Lucky the cat into the UK. There are now specific pet immigration rules between mainland Europe and the UK and there have been difficulties in immigration even for refugees from the Ukrainian war to the UK due to British Home Office’s incompetence judging by the report that I have read.
P.S. The Kremlin has admitted using the thermobaric vacuum bomb which kills people by suffocation and blast effect.
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