Brit in Ukraine begs for help after Russian invasion leaves family hiding in cellar

English teacher Harry Richardson, who once worked at a college in Leek, Staffordshire, said he and his family are sheltering with another 70 terrified locals in a cellar beneath Cherkasy – a town around 100 miles from Kyiv

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Russia: ‘Sanctions are not enough’ says British citizen living in Ukraine

A British teacher sheltering from Russian airstrikes in a cellar in Ukraine has issued an emotional plea for rescue.

Harry Richardson, who taught English at Leek College in Staffordshire, moved to the eastern European nation three-and-a-half years ago to live with his wife, Alina, a Ukrainian national.

Following Russia’s all-out invasion of its neighbour, which started on Thursday, Harry and his family were in bed when they heard a series of loud explosions, Stokeon Trent Live reports.

Suspecting it was an airstrike of a nearby arms dump, Harry, Alina and another 70 terrified residents of Cherkasy – a town around 100 miles from the capital, Kyiv – took shelter in a basement.

From the cellar, Harry and Alina uploaded a YouTube video pleading for “leaders” and “politicians” to intervene amid the “dire situation” unfolding in Ukraine.

In the emotional clip, Harry said: “I’m talking to you because we desperately need your help.

English teacher Harry Richardson and his wife Alina, a Ukrainian national, appealed for the world’s help while sheltering from Russian airstrikes in a cellar



“The situation in Ukraine is dire. People are dying. The world cannot turn away. Sanctions are not enough.

“Ukraine is a wonderful country. Ukrainians are a wonderful people. They are hard-working, they are happy. They are just like everybody else.

“Please, when you see this video, tell other people to watch it. Tell your leaders, tell the politicians. We need your help.”

Alina, speaking in Ukrainian, adds: “We hold on, we are strong, but it will be very difficult for us to win over the terrorists, occupiers, invaders or our free Ukraine without your help.”

Harry and his family fled with 70 other terrified locals into the cellar after hearing explosions nearby (Pictured: Ukrainian troops search for unexploded artillery after clashes with a Russian raiding group in Kyiv earlier today)


AFP via Getty Images)

Speaking to ITV News, Harry told how he and Alina were in bed when the sound of nearby explosions indicated that the Russian attack had begun.

He said: “I was lying in bed hearing these bangs and I couldn’t believe it. Just outside of where we are located, my wife says there was a military arsenal, so the Russian forces had targeted that as one of their first major So there was all the noise and the smoke of that going off.

“We decided, 70 or 80 of us, that this was probably the safest place to come. It’s got relatively good communications, in terms of the internet, but it also has the benefit of a 10 meter deep cellar, which is now doubling up as a bomb shelter.”

Harry moved to Ukraine three-and-a-half years ago after marrying his wife Alina (Pictured: A high-rise apartment in Kyiv torn apart by shelling earlier today)


AFP via Getty Images)

Harry told ITV News that they were ‘fine’ but ‘frightened and on edge’.

He said he hoped that the Ukrainian government, Russian leader Vladimir Putin and western powers would be able to talk and bring the war to an end.

Harry added: “But it’s not going to happen because how can you talk to someone that won’t listen.”

According to the latest reports, Russian forces are in the process of attacking Kyiv, but have not yet taken the Ukrainian capital.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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