Cambridgeshire man feels 'powerless' with wife and child still in Ukraine

An anti-Russian protest in Whitehall, London following a military campaign by Russia in Ukraine

Protesters throughout Europe have called on Russian president Vladimir Putin to end his military campaign in Ukraine - Credit: PA/Yui Mok

A Huntingdon man whose wife and daughter are in Ukraine has said he does not know when he will see them again.

Michael, who was in Cambridgeshire when Russia launched airstrikes on Ukraine this morning (February 24), is married to Oksana, a Ukrainian woman.

He had lived in eastern European country for 20 years, and planned to move his family to the UK when his daughter finished her schooling.

But Michael said that his family are running out of ways to leave Ukraine.

He said feels "powerless" in Huntingdon while his family are Zaporizhzhia, a city less than 80 miles from the Donetsk region, one of the separatist areas part of which is considered independent by Vladimir Putin.

Michael shared his story with Dotty McLeod on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.

Speaking to Dotty, he said: "There was a lot of shooting last night, by the railway station and a lot of explosions.

"A lot of it might just be pro-Russians shooting in the air to celebrate."

He added: "The plan was to apply for an emergency visa to try to get them out of the country.

"We contacted an 0300 number and they took all my details and my wife's details and passport number."

Michael then waited two days for a call-back, and did not receive another call from the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) until he phoned them yesterday.

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"I couldn't get an appointment.

"Now it's too late," he said.

BBC radio presenter Dotty said: "You must be terribly worried, Michael."

He replied tearfully: "I am.

"I hate feeling powerless.

"I don't know what else to do."

The Russian Embassy in Dublin was defaced after Vladimir Putin launched a military campaign Ukraine

The Russian Embassy in Dublin was defaced after Vladimir Putin launched what he termed a "special military operation" in Ukraine - Credit: PA/Brian Lawless

Ukrainian airspace closed to civilian aircraft this morning when Russian missiles struck the country.

The FCDO has advised against all travel for British Nationals in Ukraine.

The British Embassy has temporarily relocated to the city of Lviv, away from the capital city Kyiv.

A statement reads: "Russia’s military action in Ukraine will severely affect the British Government’s ability to provide consular assistance in Ukraine.

"British Nationals should not expect increased consular support or help with evacuating in these circumstances.

"If you are an immediate family member of a British National normally living in Ukraine and intend to apply for a visa under the Family Migration route, you should call +44 (0) 300 3032785 for assistance before applying."

If you would like to share your story with us, email: cambslivenews@archant.co.uk

Listen to Michael's story on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0bqxymg

If you are in Ukraine and need assistance, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ukraine