On a day when the aggressors of the Ukraine invasion are celebrating a day of victory, thousands of Ukrainian families have fled for a safer life.
Meet Oksana and her daughter Weronika, 11 and her brother Nikita who’s seven.
They have recently arrived in the UK and are being sponsored to live in Bubwith just outside York.
Their home town of Kherson which is on the banks of the Dnipro River in Eastern Ukraine has been obliterated by the Russian army.
Julia (pictured left) is originally from Ukraine. She’s lived in the UK for over 20 years is helping the family adjust to life in the UK.
“Our hearts are broken,” says Oksana. “We had to leave our family and friends for a safer life here in the UK. But we think about them every waking moment.
“I really do thank the people of the UK and our York sponsors for giving my family a safer life. We hope that we can one day return to a safe and free Ukraine.”
The family and their UK sponsors will be the special VIP guests at the Yorkraine benefit concert for Ukraine at the Grand Opera House on 24 May.
One of the organisers, Simon Hudson, said: “This is the reason why York’s finest musicians and crews have come together.
“We have two weeks to sell as many tickets as possible, to show that York stands with Ukraine both in solidarity and the money we raise through the ticket sales for the DEC appeal.”
Ticket sales are OK so far, but the organisers want to sell as many as possible. “We really want to create a special atmosphere on the night, for our Ukrainian VIPs,” say Simon.
Tickets are available from the website here.