Father-of-two from Tamworth 'fled to mountains' to escape Russian bombs in Ukraine

  • Callum Watkinson reports

A father from Tamworth who was living in Kyiv with his young family has told how theyfled to the mountains as Russians bombed the city.

Father-of-two Adam Pate woke up to the horrific attacks on Thursday - which he saidsounded like a 'sonic boom.'The 41-year-old former Rawlett School pupil has since travelled out of the city with his wife and two children where they now feel safer.

Pate took a job as a teacher in Ukraine in 2010.

He fell in love with the country and a girl he later married. And on Thursday he was at home in Kyiv as the first Russian missile came in.

"We are some of the luckier ones at the moment," explains Adam.

"We feel safe enough. We are bedding in now. We are just taking each day as it comes, it is all we can do. If we think they are starting in this region we will probably go to Romania but until that time we will stay here."

He added: "Ideally we want to go home and start rebuilding Kyiv but until it is safe we can't do it, I cannot risk it. I talk to my friends and family everyday.

41-year-old Adam Pate has since travelled out of the city with his family where they now feel safer Credit: BPM media

"You look at your phone to see if they are online and if not when the last time they were. You wonder if they are sleeping if they don't answer. It is just constant panicking.

"Our eldest, who is eight, is aware of what is going on. We tried to hide it from her but she listens to our conversations, the news is 24/7 war and she has started asking questions so we felt we had to tell her."Our little one is three and is happy as Larry playing, it is like a little holiday for him. He does mention bombing but most of the time he is having a good giggle."Recalling Thursday's events Adam admits everyone knew what it meant and that war had been declared.

He described the moment: "We woke up to missile attacks on the airport. We live about five miles away. It was bloody scary to put it mildly.

"Obviously the kids were very scared as well. It was about 5am, I had just woken up in the bedroom and you could hear like a sonic boom. I just thought 'it's here'.

Credit: PA images

"I woke up my wife and kids and ran to a room which was on the other side of the house. We just saw the sky light up and there were another two or three booms one after the other.

"The sky lit up as each one went off. You could hear cars screeching into the distance, everyone knew what it meant.

"We hid away while that was on and then jumped in the car. We knew war had been declared at that stage and got out of Kyiv.

"It was hard going travelling on the first day. We stayed about half way between there and where we are now at night but in the early hours of Friday morning there was a missile attack on that city as well."

Adam and his family are now in a tiny village of approximately only 1,000 people deep in the mountains.

Refugee children photographed fleeing the conflict in Ukraine Credit: PA images

"It is very quiet. I am outside at the moment and you are the only thing I can hear at all," he continued.

"One of the things we are being encouraged is not to mention our locations on any mobile networks or anything because we don't know who is listening so I can't actually tell you.

"I have three quarters of a tank in my car at the moment. Food supplies are still fine where we are. I know they are becoming more of a problem in other parts of the country."

Adam insists Ukrainians will not be beat: "Ukrainians are such brave people. They will never give up their homeland. They are the kindest, warmest people that you could ever want to meet but if you try and take their land off them it is not going to happen.

"One of my friends was in Spain on business and when war broke out he dropped everything, flew back to Kyiv and is in his army gear ready to go and defend. I am confident in our people.

"It is going to be a tough battle but we are starting to see the world act on Russia. We are going to have more horrific attacks but if the spirit holds, we will get there.

"As we say, they can kill Ukrainians but they cannot kill Ukraine. The Ukrainian soul is a powerful thing and it cannot be destroyed."

On the support from the UK and rest of the world, he added: "It is great, I know for a lot of people seeing the protests on Sunday really lifted spirits. It feels like the rest of the world feels fully behindus."