'Relieved' Liverpool expat and Ukranian partner arrive back in UK, but vow to return to Ukraine

  • Peter and Kateryna have vowed to go back to the place they call home

A Liverpool man who has been living and working in Kyiv for six years, has now arrived back in Merseyside with his Ukrainian-born partner.

Peter Cribley and Kateryna Zabello left the capital just before the Russian invasion, but the couple had been struggling to secure a visa for Kateryna to enter the UK.  Mr Cribley said it was a ''relief'' to finally touch down in Liverpool as it was the city he was born in - but he added it was also ''wrenching because Kyiv is the city we're from and it's where we'd much prefer to be.''

Peter was embraced by his family after landing in Liverpool Credit: ITV News

The couple are now working on getting Kateryna's settlement formalised and have called on the Government to put an end to the ''chaotic'' visa system and instead introduce a ''simple visa waver.''

The pair have vowed to return to Eastern Europe ''when Ukraine wins.''

Mr Cribley said: ''Whether that's sooner or later really depends on the support the west and the United Kingdom gives to the world.

''When they win, we will return."

Peter and Kateryna heading to Peter's family home in Liverpool Credit: ITV News

Speaking to Granada Reports earlier this month, Peter said that the UK government must "do more" to help Ukrainians get emergency visas for the UK.

The government had been criticised for its handling of the Ukrainian refugee crisis, with a scheme announced over the weekend (whereby Britons can host people in their homes) criticised for lacking information and being "unclear".

During a call with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday, Mr Johnson "said the UK would continue to pursue more options for bolstering Ukraine’s self-defence, working with partners including at Tuesday’s meeting of the Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) in London", a No 10 spokesman said.

People keen to offer refugees shelter in the UK can register their interest in sponsoring Ukrainians through the government’s new humanitarian scheme from Monday.