A WARWICK woman fears for her mother’s life after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and hopes to secure her safe passage to the UK.
Ukraine-born Inna Slyeptsova has contacted Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western pleading for his support.
Mr Western has criticised the government for its ‘delayed and limited’ offer of resettlement to Ukrainians fleeing the Russia invasion which began last week.
Forty-eight year-old Ms Slyeptsova says she fears for the safety of her disabled 78 year-old mother as a 40-mile-long Russian military convoy approaches Kyiv.
Her mother Maryna Krasylova is held up in the Ukrainian capital in a small cottage without any shelter and is unable to flee the city due to her immobilising back problems.
Ms Slyeptsova, who moved to the UK in 2014 and works as an animator for SEGA Hardlight in Leamington, said: “My mother was born in 1944, and she is what we call ‘the child of war.’
“I could never have imagined that she would experience war again now she is old.
“Every morning I call her asking if she is alive.
“And every evening she says a final goodbye to me, because she is not sure if she survives the night.
“Today mum said that she heard sirens and a sound of multiple explosions at night, and the only thing she could do was pray.
“I feel hopeless and emotional, because I am not able to help her with anything.
“I beg the Prime Minister to accept as many refugees as possible and for him to lead international efforts to send humanitarian aid to those stranded as this terrible invasion continues.”
The government’s resettlement scheme was yesterday extended to include parents along with other close relatives like children and partners.
But Mr Western says it is still unclear whether it applies to aunts and uncles, can be used by those on study or temporary work visas, and will include charges or visa fees.
He says the scheme should have been prepared months ago and says future delays in it being set up could cost lives.
Mr Western said: “This is a desperate situation for so many Ukrainians.
“Let’s remember these are people fleeing an atrocious war waged by a dictator.
“We can only hope now that President Putin has miscalculated, and that Ukrainian forces and international support are enough to halt his military advance.
“As my colleagues have said, we must eliminate barriers for all those seeking refuge in the UK as many of our European partners have – with clear commitments and timeframes outlined.
“We must also set up the resettlement scheme much faster than we did for Afghanistan, which was delayed by six months.
“We must facilitate a diplomatic solution at the same time as launching sanctions that will cripple Putin’s power base – and support our allies in whatever way we can.”
Russia invaded Ukraine last Wednesday after weeks of doom-laden predictions from NATO allies, the international media and stark warnings from Ukrainian politicians – who have for months been calling for sanctions against the Putin regime to avert an offensive.
The United Nations estimates that nearly 700,000 people have fled Ukraine while the European Union has warned the invasion could displace nearly seven million people.
Sanctions have been announced by the US, the EU and the UK – though many are calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to at least match the tougher sanctions of other military allies.