A Ukrainian woman who is studying in Leicester, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her mum in the city, after she made a dramatic escape from Kyiv.
Angelina Nevzerova is currently studying for a PhD at De Montfort University, Leicester.
She met with Pukaar News to discuss her mum’s dramatic escape from Kyiv – the capital of war-torn Ukraine.
At the time of writing, Iryna is currently in France waiting for a Visa to get to her 26-year-old daughter, who has been studying here in Leicester for the past five years.
“The first five days were a nightmare when she was trying to escape from Ukraine, and when she didn’t have internet and connection for two hours, I started to panic and it was just a terrible time”, she said.
“Currently my Mum is in Calais, and it’s so difficult for her being alone in a foreign country were she doesn’t speak French. It’s really hard for her mental health and also for mine”, she added.
“I remember on February 24 when the war started, all the people that I spoke with didn’t eat food. I didn’t eat for a few days because I just didn’t want it. Everyone said you need to eat but I couldn’t. I felt guilty because I am in a safe place and a lot of the people in Ukraine are not”.
Angelina says that the outbreak of war, has completely changed her mentality and her outlook in life.
It has prompted her to change the topic of the PHD she is doing in Hotel Management from looking at ‘The Hotel Industry and Economical Disasters in Ukraine’, to something much more personal.
“My PHD is now looking at Hotels in War Conditions in Ukraine”, she told Pukaar News.
“It’s still hard, because I need to check the news and everything, but on the other hand I understand that I’m making something for Ukraine”, she said. “I feel a little bit better because I wanted to show what was the situation and how it happened. It will be in my PHD one day on the paper and people will know that it was real, because some news is saying that it’s not a war or anything like that”.
As well as completing her research, Angelina has also been helping Ukrainians back in her home country by using her English speaking skills to assist with their applications, and to help get them sponsors.
“I felt very guilty because I’m not there, and I think that other Ukrainian’s in other countries feel the same. Because they are sleeping in the bombshell and you’re sleeping in a bed, and it makes you feel terrible inside”, she said.
“I find that all the problems that I had before, that they are not problems anymore”, she added. “I can’t imagine how they feel in Ukraine right now.
“I spoke with one of my friends in Odessa yesterday, because they were bombing there a few days ago, and this air siren just started to work, that I can hear, and it was a terrible feeling”.
Asked how she will feel when her Mum finally arrives in Leicester, Angelina said that she will look to Leicester’s strong Ukrainian community for support.
“When my Mum arrives I’ll want to introduce her to other Ukrainian people, so that she’ll feel like she has friends here”, she said.
“I know that she’s protected, but I know that one of my heart problems is that she’s not with me”, she added.
“When she’s with me I’ll be so happy, and my Mum says she will be dancing”.