A Ukrainian-born woman living in Lincoln said she has been left with no option but to give up in her attempts to rescue her family from the ongoing conflict with Russia, opting to keep them in Poland where they’ll be offered “better rights”.
It has been 14 days since Russia launched a full-scale invasion on Ukraine, with attacks intensifying in key cities such as Kyiv and Mariupol, as civilians frantically try to either stay and fight for their lives, or migrate to another nation for safety.
The United Nations has now said that over two million people have now evacuated Ukraine, with over 1.2 million of those currently residing in the neighbouring country of Poland.
Christina Dymtryk Clark was born in Ukraine but now lives in Lincoln, and she has family members that have found themselves trapped in the conflict.
Christina’s cousin and her two children are in Poland after fleeing the conflict in Ukraine, but she has had to give up trying to bring them to the UK, due to complications with visa applications.
She said: “It is a shame and a bit embarrassing that as a British citizen I can’t do more to help my family in Ukraine.
“Both my brother and I were trying to see how we could bring her over here, but also make sure that she has some rights to work, as well as some rights for her 16-year-old to study.
“But at the moment we can’t see it being an easy process, so we’ve decided for her to stay in Poland because they are offering better rights and facilities for refugees.”
Refugees can leave Ukraine for another EU nation visa-free for the next three years, but in the UK you still require an entry cisa, for which tens of thousands of people have applied.
As of March 8, the Home Office says the UK has granted visas to 760 Ukrainian refugees under its new scheme, with 17,700 applications for people to re-join their relatives. However, nearly 600 refugees are stuck in Calais.
Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh said on March 1 that Lincolnshire have “done our bit” with migration, to which he received intense backlash and followed up by saying his comments were taken out of context.