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27th Jun, 2022

Former Warwickshire man who fled his Ukraine home makes it over the border

Catherine Thompson 16th Mar, 2022 Updated: 16th Mar, 2022

A FORMER South Warwickshire man who fled his adopted home city in Ukraine has made it over the border.

Jacques Quigley, wife Katyia Kozin-Quigley and young son Nikolai lived in the second city Kharkiv which has been all but obliterated by Russian missiles.

The family had been living in the basement of their home as the city was attacked by the invading Russian forces.

They had been determined to stay but it became too dangerous so they fled to the neighbouring Czech Republic.

Jacques, who is originally from Leek Wootton, was in regular contact with his mother Suzanne Smith.

Suzanne, who lives in Bishops Itchington, told the Observer the family was living in fear while trying to remain strong for their five-year-old son.

She summed up the madness of the situation when she revealed her grandson had one minute had been asking when he could go back to kindergarten to see his friends and the next saying he needed a gun to defend himself.

Videos, sent to Suzanne by the couple, showed shoes and human remains being collected from the surrounding rubble of residential and office buildings.

The couple joined a convoy and travelled for days through heavy snow to reach the border and safety.

And now the trio are on their way to France after a brief spell in Slovakia where Jacques and Nikolai recovered from illness.

Suzanne also revealed their apartment building was still standing and Katiya’s family had moved in after their own home had been destroyed.

In an exchange earlier this week, Suzanne, who flew to Bratislava in Slovakia, to meet the family, said Katyia’s parents were ‘alive but not living’.

Katiya, who is Ukrainian, is arranging a visa so the family are able to live in the UK.

Russian forces are continuing to blast apart major cities as Ukranians continue to put up a fierce defence against the troops.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians are continuing to flee Ukraine as Russian attacks intensify.

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