Liubov Kolomenska, along with her eight-year-old daughter Sofia and 17-year-old son Oleksandr, fled their house in Oleshki, close to Kherson in Ukraine, the day after the conflict started in February, leaving her husband and oldest son in Ukraine. The city is now occupied by Russian forces.
Throughout their time within the Polish capital Warsaw, Ms Kolomenska, a major faculty instructor in Ukraine, was contacted by an previous childhood pal, Angelina Gadeliya, who went to high school along with her in Ukraine, however moved to the US as a small baby. She steered the household ought to apply to maneuver to Glasgow the place her youthful sister Liana lives, by the Scottish Authorities’s tremendous sponsor scheme.
Nevertheless, whereas all three acquired “Heat Scottish Welcome” letters from the Scottish Authorities shortly after their utility final month, a proper permission to journey letter has solely arrived for Oleksander, leaving the household unable to journey.
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They’re now residing in limbo in Warsaw, the place the plumbing within the toilet they share with six different flats has been damaged for 2 months. Ms Kolomenska has additionally been compelled to stand up at 4:30am each day to work in three badly-paid cleansing jobs to have the ability to present meals for her kids.
Ms Gadeliya, who had rekindled her childhood friendship with Ms Kolomenska throughout a go to to Ukraine 14 years in the past, contacted her after the conflict began to examine on her well-being.
“I wished to see if there was something I may do to assist her,” she mentioned. “We had been classmates in Oleshki, Ukraine, again throughout Soviet occasions, previous to my household immigrating to the US, and I met up along with her briefly throughout a go to to Ukraine in 2008.
“They’re struggling a lot. They got here to Warsaw with so little as they weren’t anticipating to be away from their houses for such a very long time. It was troublesome to search out lodging as there are such a lot of Ukrainians there – and they didn’t handle to get any help from the Polish authorities for 2 months.”
She added: “Upon studying about her residing situations, and the way little help she was receiving in Poland, I steered that she let me apply for visas to the UK for her and her two youngsters, with the hope of sending them to Glasgow, the place my sister lives.
“I had additionally seen the announcement simply the earlier week that Scottish universities have been made to be free for Ukrainians, so I believed that this is able to be a fantastic alternative for Oleksandr to switch to a Scottish faculty. With the assistance of my sister, I submitted their UK visa purposes and chosen the Scottish Authorities as their sponsor.
“It appears to me that every one three of them have been issued UK visas, however by some unusual omission or mistake, Liubov and Sofia by no means acquired their “permission to journey letters’.”
A UK Authorities spokesperson mentioned: “Greater than 77,200 Ukrainians have arrived within the UK since Putin’s invasion and all arrivals have entry to advantages and public providers, in addition to the suitable to work or research, from the day they arrive.
“Functions from households are usually processed collectively, however circumstances differ in complexity and it’s important that strong safeguarding processes are in place to guard kids from trafficking and different dangers.”