Nathan Rossiter said: ‘We left so much family back there in Kharkiv and didn’t even have a chance to say bye properly.’
03 March 2022
A British man who has managed to escape Ukraine with his wife and son said he was left with “mixed emotions” after reaching Romania.
Nathan Rossiter, 32, from Harlow in Essex, has spent most of the past seven years in Kharkiv.
However, just before war broke out in Ukraine he travelled to Kyiv in an attempt to secure visas for his wife Lena and five-year-old son Leo to travel to the UK.
Since then the type 1 diabetic said he has been forced to reuse his own needles after getting stuck in the capital. An attempt to leave via a Kyiv train station was scuppered after “things got out of control” and “thousands” were left waiting.
However, thanks to the help of a non-profit organisation, the family managed to leave the country and on Thursday Mr Rossiter said they had reached a hotel in Bucharest and were looking for flights to the UK.
Mr Rossiter said he received word from his MP Robert Halfon that the visas for his wife and son have been authorised. He has been told that the Home Office will issue a notice to any airline they use that they have the authority to fly to the UK.
“Mixed emotions. Happy that Leo and Lena are safe, but we left so much family back there in Kharkiv and didn’t even have a chance to say bye properly,” he told the PA news agency.
“Today we’re going to go and get a change of clothes from the shop… we’ve all been in the same clothes since last Monday (as our trip was only supposed to be one night in Kyiv to submit documents at the UK Visa Centre) so we’re all a bit smelly now!
“Especially after sleeping fully clothed in Kyiv in case we had to leave the building urgently and get somewhere underground.
“Hopefully, by Tuesday evening, we’ll be in the UK.”
Mr Rossiter, a website designer, said he “shouldn’t have any trouble getting insulin and needles” in Bucharest.
“It’s still so surreal it all seems so crazy,” he said.
“Thinking back to last Monday/Tuesday when everything was fine and we were in such a good place, and then a couple of short days later we’re in the middle of a warzone.”