A UKRAINIAN woman living in Whitchurch has spoken of her sadness and hope for the war to end, nearly a year on since the Russian invasion.

Anna Oleksyn has been in Whitchurch since September 2022 with her son, Marko after fleeing her country fter war broke out between Ukraine and Russian forces.

Anna spoke of her sadness at the impact the war has had on ordinary people in her country.

She said: "It is a great sadness, it is one year of our lives. We are on the news all the time.

"Even though we are here in a safe place, we check messages from our parents, relatives and friends, etc. We are on our mobile phones all the time to check the news. We have an alarm app for if there is an airstrike.

"Even being here, our hearts are still in Ukraine because it is our motherland. You cannot just leave it and forget."

Anna said she really hopes the war will end soon, adding: "I hope that the war finishes soon. That is my dream.

"I hope at the end of spring when children finish school, the war will finish as well."


And she explained that the war has impacted on basic things in her country with prices increasing.

She said: "Everything is very expensive in Ukraine.

"A few days ago I sent a parcel to my mother because food is like a luxury. It is quite difficult if you have a large family."

Anna is currently working on a contract until the end of August and is preparing to move into housing separate from the host she stayed with under the 'Homes for Ukrainians.'

She said: "I am working now, it is a bit easier. But, I am going to start to move into my separate housing from my host.

"At the beginning of March I am to move into the house. There are a lot of things we need to find like furniture, but at least we are safe."

Anna said Ukrainians across the UK will be marking the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion.

She said: "I hope everything is going to end soon.

"On Friday, February 24 and Saturday, February 25, a lot of Ukrainians who live in towns and cities across Britain will have meetings and marches.

"They will express their points of view. I am going to meet with an MP.

"If some of the towns nearby organise something on February 25, I will go with my son."