Ukrainian refugee staying in Cheshire tells of ‘disgusting’ situation in her homeland
A Ukrainian refugee staying in Cheshire has spoken of the heartbreaking situation in her home country. Natalia Oroleva was forced to flee the southern city of Kherson after it was overrun by Russians.
She described some of the horrific experiences at home based on leaked news from relatives. Natalia, who is staying with a host family near Alsager, said: “The town is occupied, absolutely occupied by the Russians.
“In Kherson, the Ukrainian mobile phone network was cut off by the Russians, although news is circulating about the situation. Now they are trying to sell Russian SIM cards.
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“There is no connection with the news, as it was before, but nevertheless, I have a connection with my friends and family, but not very often. Life is disgusting, a lot of goods come from Crimea. And they are sold trucks and cars, there are few medicines.
“My relatives told me that you can buy medicine or food, but the price can be five times what it was before the war. And the situation is very difficult, you know, while a man is walking around, (on the street) he might be stopped by Russian soldiers and told to undress, because they are looking for tattoos, (symbolizing) Ukraine.
“If they suspect someone, that man could be imprisoned and many activists would be killed. The situation is disgusting. There is a moment when you stop walking. Thus, people could only walk (in the street) until 3 p.m. He is totally busy.
“Sometimes when they allow certain people out of the busy city center, they (the Russian soldiers) shoot people in the back, for nothing for no reason.”
Natalia recalls how she came to the UK through the Host Programme: “I went with my family to the western part of Ukraine. I stayed there for a while and then I learned from a friend of mine who lives in London this referral program..
“So she told me this, there are groups where you can apply and you can give information about yourself. And in this way, you will find a sponsor. John and Sue, they invited me to stay with their family and they supported me in everything.”
She added, “I miss my friends and I miss my loved ones. Right now, I feel comfortable here. I don’t feel alone.”
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