Former Leeds soldier ferrying orphaned children out of danger in Ukraine

A former soldier from Leeds has been working in the heart of Ukraine's war-zone, helping to ferry orphaned children out of the firing-line of the Russian onslaught.  

Rob Lawrie is working with a US charity moving youngsters from the war-torn east of the country to the relative safety of temporary homes in the west. 

He has spent the last couple of days back in West Yorkshire but is set to return to Ukraine having raised enough money to buy a new bus to support their mercy mission.

He said: "In Ukraine at the present there is round about 150,000 orphaned or fostered chidden in conflict areas so there is an awful lot of children to come out."

Now he is back in the UK, Rob aims to raise enough money to buy a bus to take back to Ukraine to support the movement of the children.

He has raised around £30,000 and intends to buy the vehicle and head back as soon as he can.

Rob is planning to return to Ukraine to help more orphans

He said: "Make no mistake, these children are not worried about the conflict coming near them they are in the middle of a conflict zone right now.

"I will give you an example: we rescued 35 children out of a conflict zone on Saturday night we were supposed to go in and get them four days earlier but en route we had to cancel because of the amount of shelling going on around the area where these children were hiding basically in bunkers. They went without food for four days and they were rationing water before we could extract them."

In 2015 Rob was volunteering in the Calais refugee camp when he tried to bring a four year old Afghan girl to the UK. He was spared jail by a French court for what they called a crime of compassion.