American intelligence agencies revealed yesterday that Russia may be planning to invade Ukraine as soon as Wednesday. A British dad and his newborn baby face being trapped in the country as war breaks out
Image: Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)
A British dad and his newborn baby face being trapped in Ukraine as war breaks out after military intelligence revealed Russia could invade within days.
Ken Stewart, 54, originally from Edinburgh and his Ukrainian wife Tania, 36, are stranded in the country because their newly-born baby Douglas does not have a passport.
Douglas, weighing 9lbs, was born in hospital by cesarean section on Monday and Tania and her baby are still in a hospital outside the capital Kyiv.
While Ken plans his family’s next move, many of the other 6,000 Brit families residing in the country have already escaped.
Some fled west towards Poland but at least one couple is stranded over passport issues whilst some have vowed to stand firm in Kyiv.
Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)
They are reacting to a dramatic British Foreign Office appeal for all British passport holders to evacuate immediately amid fears of war with Russia.
Yesterday the crisis escalated as it emerged American intelligence agencies believe the Kremlin may order strikes on Kyiv and an invasion could happen as soon as Wednesday.
And Brits were warned not to expect military help to escape Ukraine if war breaks out.
It is believed many of the 6,000 Brits living in Ukraine have already fled the country whilst some have stayed, stocking up on food and fuel in case war does break out.
Andy Commins/Daily Mirror)
Ken, who is waiting at the couple’s home 50 miles west of Kyiv, where they live with their three year-old daughter Yaryna, told the Sunday Mirror: “Our son Douglas was born on Monday and Tania is still recovering in hospital.
“Our plan was to leave but we are in a difficult situation since we do not yet have Douglas’ birth certificate.
“That can take one or two weeks here- and that’s without there being a war so who knows how long that will take?
Bryan Smith/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)
“I am waiting until they come home and then I think we may leave and head west, where Tania has relatives.
“So I will stay here for a day or so and see what happens and then try and get away just to be safe.
“I am being practical. This is a strange situation.
“It’s strange because they have been telegraphing an invasion for such a long time.
“Who does that? I am keeping a close eye on the situation.”
Business magazine publisher Peter Dickinson, 45, wife Susanna, 29 and their children Nine, 11, and 14 year-old Elizabeth were preparing to flee Kyiv.
Buckinghamshire-born Peter, who settled in Kyiv 20 years go, said: The evacuation advice has sparked a lot of concern but few of the Brits I have spoken to are going anywhere just yet.
“Many like me have made their lives here and it would not be just leaving a place where we live – it would be leaving our homes and livelihoods.
AFP via Getty Images)
“The embassy would not be asking us to get out unless they hadn’t seen compelling evidence that something very bad is about to happen- and that’s what concerns us.
“We might get the children home to stay with my parents in the UK or take a week or two breaks somewhere – but we will not be dashing to the airport just yet.
“If bombs start falling on Kyiv I may well regret my decision but that’s a risk Putin is making us all take.
British man Stuart Mackenzie added: “My plan will be to get my kids to safety then come back to help the Ukrainians in any way I can.
“That may mean organizing or working with them but it might also mean picking up a gun.
“I am prepared to do that because it’s the Russian who are the aggressors.”
Sean Kelly, a 53 year-old dad-of-two, has lived in Kyiv for 26 years.
He said: “I am disgusted by what Putin is doing to our friends in Ukraine and will do everything in my power to support them.
“He has painted himself into a corner to the point where everyone is expecting and attacking at any moment.
“If that happens I would be willing to take up arms and fight for Ukraine.
“I would do anything I can to help them.”
Logistics firm boss Sean lives in Kyiv with Ukrainian born wife Natalia and children Oliver, two and Elizabeth, seven.
He added: “I will evacuate my family first by driving them to Odessa in the south then put them on a ferry across the Black Sea to Turkey.
“Lots of Brits are planning to take the shorter overland route west to Poland but I am sure there will be chaos at that border if bombs start falling and flights are stopped.”
Junior defense minister James Heappey said: “British nationals should leave Ukraine immediately by any means possible and they should not expect, as they saw in the summer with Afghanistan, that there would be any possibility of a military evacuation.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.