Mother-of-three's fear her children won't see their dad again as Russia continues Ukraine invasion

'When he left I felt miserable again'

A mother-of-three in Ukraine trying to keep her young children safe underground says she doesn’t know if she will ever see her husband again.

Olena Gnes, from Kyiv, is looking after their three children, aged seven, five and four months, on rations of food and water in a make-shift bomb shelter in the basement of a building.

Speaking to ITV News from her home, she described a “wonderful hour” when her husband, who has joined the city’s defence effort, came home two days ago for the first time since the war started.

“He is somewhere not far away but can’t say exactly, it is secret. We keep in touch every day, we message every day, he can call when he can,” she said, while holding her daughter close.

“He came home for the first time to take a shower for the first time in two weeks. We spent an hour together and that was wonderful, just one hour with each other that was a happy hour.

“I felt happy but when he left I felt miserable again, because maybe that is the last time we see each other.”

The mother said all she can do is wait and hope 'for the best' Credit: ITV News

More than 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine in the 17 days since Moscow launched its invasion, while those stuck in the country are hunkered down underground living in fear of shelling.

Olena said her eldest daughter fully understands the gravity of what is happening to their country and city - where hundreds have died in the fighting.

"She doesn't understand only one thing: Why? Why is it happening?" said the mother.

"She was asking why Putin is such a piece of s*** and why is he attacking Ukraine? That's what she cannot understand."

On Saturday, she said they all hear the sound of gunshots and artillery – which she tells her children is the cue for them to hide.

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