Kate Middleton consoles crying Ukrainian mother as she meets families who fled Putin's brutal invasion

17 November 2022, 17:09

Getty / LBC
Getty / LBC. Picture: Getty / LBC

By Chris Samuel

Kate Middleton consoled a Ukrainian mother who cried as as she described the horrors of fleeing Russia's invasion.

The Princess of Wales heard harrowing accounts from people forced from Ukraine by the war and stories about how families have been welcomed in Britain.

Kate hailed the "bravery" and "resilience" of Ukrainians during a visit to the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre today.

She said : "It is amazing to see the work being carried out and lots of people are coming out to support the Ukrainians here."

Speaking about the start of the invasion, the royal said: "Everyone was really keen to support but not sure how to."

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Mick Polleck, deputy chairman of the centre, said: "The whole of Britain has been really good and we are eternally grateful."

Kate replied: "Considering the trauma families are experiencing on a day to day basis having a community centre like this provides a lifeline and opportunity.”

Kate shared a touching moment with Galina Bolebrukh, 39, who was in tears as she told the princess about hiding from Russian bombs in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

Getty images
Getty images. Picture: Getty

The mother-of-one described fleeing with her mother Iryna, and son Renat, 3, and said she left partner behind to fight on the front line.

She apologised as she wiped a tear away, but Kate replied: "It's understandable everything you have experienced."

The princess said: "I wish we could do more."

Afterwards Galina, who left the war-torn county in February and arrived in Reading in May, said: "I told her how horrible and difficult it was.

"We had to make a decision very quickly. We only took some shirts and trousers and left.

Getty
Getty. Picture: Getty

"It was very easy talking to her, she has a big heart.

"She tried to make me feel better and said everything was all right and said here we can get a job and live because we can't go back to Ukraine."

Kate has made children’s early year development a prominent part of her royal work, spoke with other Ukrainian women and children to hear their experiences.

Some said they were forced to hide in bomb shelters before they fled, with almost all of them saying hey had left husbands and other loved ones behind.

Getty
Getty. Picture: Getty

Most described how they had been given a place to stay in the UK with British families, due to a government scheme and hoped to get jobs, The Mirror reported.

One woman shook the princess' hand and said: "I'm very proud to have met you."

Kate said: "It's still all going on and you have loved ones and family in Ukraine they still see the horrors of war every day."

She added: "I am so impressed at your bravery and resilience I am overwhelmed by how strong you all are."

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