Ukraine family reunited in Jersey as islanders aim to open homes

While the relentless bombing of Ukrainian cities and towns continues, there has been some hope for one family who have made the journey to be with their loved ones in the Channel Islands.

Tania's sister Annoshka says: "It's a really really happy moment that I can save them.

"They were saying 'we're so tired we can't take it anymore, we planning to go back' - we were shouting down the phone you've got to go.

"To see them and hug them and feel them and know they are in one piece."

Tania (centre left), her mother (left) and son (far left) travelled from Ukraine to join her sister, Annoushka (centre right), in Jersey. Credit: ITV Channel TV

On Sunday (6 March) Tania, her son Vlad and mother Olga, arrived in Jersey from the city of Odessa.

They spent four days travelling to the Polish border by car and foot and had to beg others for petrol to carry on. Annoshka says another worry for her family was whether they would get stuck in a forest without petrol, food and water. Along the way they say they witnessed the destruction of their home country by day, and at night, the bombs lit up the sky. "It was so so bright, it was so scared, everywhere just flash, flash flash flash."

Tania's husband Victor has stayed in Ukraine. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Tania's husband Victor has stayed in Ukraine and registered for the local militia. He is just one of the many men who have stayed to defend their country. Annoshka says the family hopes one day Victor will be allowed to join them because without him they say "it's not a full family".

Meanwhile Talia Foa, from Jersey, says she will welcome those seeking refuge. "We've got a spare room, and somebody can use it, and if it helps, that's fantastic, and for however long they need it, it'll be there to help them." Talia's father was a prisoner of war for five years and she says she knows all too well the horrors people fleeing conflict can face.

Talia Foa's father was a prisoner of war for five years in Germany. Credit: ITV Channel TV

"Jersey people are going to be particularly aware of what these people are going through. If we can do some little thing to help, it's kind of the least we can do I feel."

Annoshka's family have thanked the people of Jersey who have welcomed them, to a place they now call home.

A meeting is set to be held by the Government of Jersey on Thursday (17 March) to discuss how the island will respond to the refugee crisis.