A British teacher who flew 1,700 miles to see his family in Ukraine says he is willing to fight for the country’s war-torn people.
Ian Umney, from Merseyside’s St Helens, left his work as an English teacher to be with his Ukrainian wife Nelia, 26, and their two-year-old kid.
On Sunday, February 27th, the 28-year-old, who has a significant following on the social media app TikTok, traveled from Manchester to Krakow before heading to the Ukrainian border.
“They opened the door and my son reached his arms out to me and I hugged him”, Ian said. “And I wept into my wife’s shoulder – and gave them both a big kiss.”
He claims that if the time comes, he would join the Ukrainian resistance and fight for the liberation of his wife’s nation, despite the fact that they are up against overwhelming odds.
“The only thing that scares me is knowing my son won’t have a father when he grows up”, Ian explains.
“It’s a last minute thing for me to do, to go and join and bear arms, but I am willing to do it if I need to.”
Russian troops are still pouring into Ukraine, with paratroopers allegedly landing in Kharkiv and more than 2,000 people killed by explosives.
As he seeks to get an evacuation flight to the UK for his wife and little kid, Ian Umney thinks that Nikopol, where they are presently stationed, may be the next target.
He said: “I told him [his son] I love him maybe a hundred times in the last few days, it’s everyday normal life for him, which I’m glad for.”