Ukrainian couple in Kendal fear for their family stuck amid conflict

Olesya and Andrey have family stuck in Ukraine. Credit: ITV Border

A Ukrainian family living in Kendal say they are desperately worried about their family back home.

Andrey and Olesya Donsky have family and friends living in Ukraine, in areas at the heart of fighting.

They are urging anyone who has family living in Russia, to tell them about the conflict.

The pair have expressed their gratitude to the UK for the support shown to their home country so far, but they urging the British Government to do more to help.

Andrey and Olesya are concerned that sanctions do not go far enough to deter Russian troops on the ground.

Andrey is trying to speak to his 90-year-old grandmother as much as he can on the phone and by video call, but he fears for her safety. She lives on the outskirts of Kyiv and was woken on the the first night of invasion, to the whole house shaking. She thought it was an earthquake.

Andrey has lived in Cumbria for many years.

He arrived in the county as a teenager with the help of the New Beginnings charity after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. He now volunteers for the charity, to help others.

Pat Harrison is the founder of the charity in Kyiv which supports vulnerable children in Ukraine. She says she is increasingly concerned about the young people in the charity's care:

"Our Genesis House, they have nowhere to go because these children have no families. Fortunately we are in a village but we are only a few kilometres from the city and the main airport so I am extremely worried."

Olesya has family in Kharkiv. The mayor of their area has surrendered to Russian troops without putting up a fight. She says residents are not allowed to leave their house and the children are scared.