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British dad's dilemma: 'I can hear jets and gunfire…do we stay or get the family out?'

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Ken Stewart lives 40 miles west of Kiev with wife Tania and children Yaryna, aged three, and Douglas, born two weeks ago. They are unable to go to Scotland because of a visa delay for Tania, who recently left hospital after having a caesarean section.

An appointment had been booked at the British Embassy for today – but travelling is so dangerous Mr Stewart will not chance it.

He said: “I can hear military jets in the distance and you can hear gunfire as well, like large calibre – tanks, helicopters, it’s pretty heavy.

“We just heard that our local airfield has been attacked, just in the last hour. That’s about a 20-minute drive from here. So it’s getting closer.”

Edinburgh-born Mr Stewart is making plans to flee and booking accommodation in the west of Ukraine for the family to shelter temporarily.

But he says he cannot risk going to the Embassy. He added: “That’s not going to happen now and it’s extremely stressful. We’re only concerned for the children’s safety and I’m concerned for my wife’s safety. What do we do? Do we stay here? Or do we get out?”

Mr Stewart stressed: “It’s a difficult situation. I’m torn because I don’t want to leave this country. I’ve lived here for 15 years.”

“It’s my wife’s country. My kids have dual nationality, it’s their birthplace.”

“We don’t want to go, but we don’t want them to be in any danger.”

Mr Stewart’s brother in Scotland has written to the family’s MP urging him to push for an emergency visa.

If he is permitted to travel, Mr Stewart is considering driving six hours to Poland and then flying to Scotland.



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