'I wonder if I will see these people again?': Mick Antoniw's family joining defence of Ukraine

Senedd Member Mick Antoniw has spoken of how he fears he may never see friends or family again following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Antoniw, the Welsh Government's Counsel General, was born in Ukraine and has friends and family living in the country.

He visited the country as earlier this week as part of a delegation 'showing solidarity' with people in Ukraine.

On Sunday, Mr Antoniw defended his decision to go to Ukraine despite the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office warning against all travel to the country.

Mr Antoniw recently spent a weekend in Kyiv in a 'show of solidarity' with Ukrainians.

Speaking to ITV Wales, Mr Antoniw said: "It’s been grim seeing the possibility that in the 21st century you could have a full-scale war by one country on another country that has no capability of threatening it. 

“And even more disturbing as I talk to family this morning, I wonder whether I will ever see them again. 

“Arms have been distributed, people are joining civil defence units, my cousins have contacted me to say they are joining their units now trying to make arrangements for safe passage for their families. 

“My one cousin, who is 74, said ‘I’m staying here until the end’.”

“It makes me feel sick in the stomach at the possibility of people I love very much taking up arms going to defend their country, and I may never see them or speak to them again.”

On Thursday afternoon, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament that the UK has hit Russia with "the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions" that the country has "ever seen" following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

The prime minister told the Commons: "Now we see him for what he is - a bloodstained aggressor, who believes in imperial conquest."

Mr Johnson said he had agreed with Nato allies a "massive" package of sanctions "designed in time to hobble the Russian economy".

However, Mr Antoniw also took aim at the UK Government’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine to date.

Arguing that the UK must break all ties with Russia, he continued: “I think the UK’s response so far has been pathetically weak.

"We now need serious economic sanctions. We need a boycott of Russia. Break trade, break economic links, break all those associations that exist.

“What they [UK Government] can do is I think there should be a no-fly-zone over Ukraine. That is one thing that has been done before and I think it can be done again.”