Sabina Jenkins has swapped her home in Llanelli, Wales, for making petrol bombs in the basement of her family home in a village near Kyiv with her mother and grandmother
Image: Michael Jenkins)
A woman who swapped living by the seaside in Wales for making petrol bombs to help defend Ukraine says she is ready for the “worst case scenario.”
As the number of people to have fled the war-torn nation tops one million, Sabina Jenkins has traveled to be with her mother, Oksana, and grandmother Larysa in a village near Kyiv.
Terrified their home will be next, she and her family insist they have not considered leaving and instead are among those making homemade weapons to take out Russian troops.
A few weeks ago Sabina was in Llanelli, Wales with husband, soldier and engineer Michael Jenkins – originally from Ringland in Newport – who she met while he was stationed in Ukraine with the marines as a machine-gunner.
The couple had arranged to start a new life in the US so Sabina flew into the Ukraine to sort out the visas, before Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of her homeland.
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Michael told Wales Online: “We lived 50 meters from the sea in Llanelli, we don’t like the busy city life so it was great there.
“An opportunity came up in the US for us to move out there and start a new life for ourselves with fewer visa complications.
“I went out there to get things moving and Sabina went to Ukraine to sort paperwork. Then Russia invaded.”
Sabina said she makes petrol bombs with her grandmother, something every household nearby is also doing.
She added: “My grandmother has made these before, but I have never made these in my life. I never thought I would need to make them.
“I do think I will use them. We have been told we must be ready, we must be ready for anything. We must be ready for the worst case scenario.”
“I can’t imagine leaving like this, no, it’s my family. My great is here and I grew up here as a kid. If I leave, then what?
“Of course, I don’t feel safe. Who feels safe in a war? But we will stay here and stand up for our land.”
Michael, a 39-year-old former Newport Hartridge School pupil, is due to arrive back in Ukraine in the next week and says he has not given up convincing the family to move to a safer place, even if that is in Ukraine.
He says his priority is ensuring the safety of his family, before turning his attention to fighting the Russians as a voluntary soldier.
He said from his current base in Buffalo, New York: “This could be a huge war.
“The worst one I think I’ll experience by far. Ukraine is going to fight until the end and Russia has made it very clear of their intentions.
“I think when the worst does come NATO can’t stand by and let that happen. And where does that leave us?
“My major concern and worry now is that I’m going to get to Ukraine too late for Sabina and her family.
“I need to get there and make sure they are safe, and then I’ll fight with the voluntary battalion for as long as I’m needed.
“I have very bad anxiety, like something churning in my stomach. It’s not so much anger but pure worry that I am here and they are there.”