Ukrainian refugee sent sleazy messages from men after appealing for host

4 April 2022, 12:11 | Updated: 4 April 2022, 13:30

Ukrainian refugee Julia Skubenko was bombarded with sleazy messages from men after appealing for a host in the UK.
Ukrainian refugee Julia Skubenko was bombarded with sleazy messages from men after appealing for a host in the UK. Picture: Getty

By Lauren Lewis

A Ukrainian refugee who appealed for a host in the UK has been bombarded with sleazy messages from men.

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Julia Skubenko, 30, was offered a room in exchange for marriage and told it was a "shame" she only wanted a female host because "we could have started a family".

The Ukrainian native - who has since found a host - posted on a Facebook group of 18,000 people looking for a room in the UK with a woman after fleeing the war in her homeland.

Alongside a picture of herself, Skubenko said she never thought she would be "forced to move to England" and "start over" but tried to reassure wiling hosts that she would "get on her feet" quickly.

She included links to her social media and mobile phone number on the post, adding that she owned a successful cleaning company in Kyiv having built the business after moving to the Ukrainian capital from a small village.

One man responded offering her a job as his "assistant", boasting that he owned an oil company and a bank while several others proposed marriage.

Read more: 'Look what you raised': Zelenskyy says Russian mothers should be shown Bucha 'genocide'

Julia Skubenko, 30, was offered a room in the UK in exchange for marriage
Julia Skubenko, 30, was offered a room in the UK in exchange for marriage. Picture: Facebook

Skubenko said she struggles to believe the men were "writing out of compassion" and said she was "worried about the girls coming from my country" to the UK.

It comes amid fears the Government's Homes for Ukraine scheme has become "Tinder for sex traffickers" and is leaving women vulnerable to abuse with insufficient safeguarding.

A whistleblower, speaking to the Daily Mail, yesterday warned that the lack of safeguarding could lead to a "massive abuse case".

The senior council worker in the Midlands said over one in four of the 40 matches passed from the Home Office after for women in their twenties or thirties and men older than 50.

Read more: Baby-faced teen cleared of murder after man died after one punch attack in Yorkshire

Skubenko posted on a Facebook group looking for a room in the UK after fleeing the war in her homeland
Skubenko posted on a Facebook group looking for a room in the UK after fleeing the war in her homeland. Picture: Getty

The whistleblower raised concerns that DBS checks on hosts will not come back before the Ukrainians arrive in the UK, but that evacuees will still be sent straight to their homes meaning safeguarding issues may not be picked up in time.

"I worry there'll be a massive abuse case that happens within my local authority and it will be us who come under fire for failing safeguarding duties, when actually we did everything we possibly could,' the staffer said, warning that "young, very beautiful girls" looking for hosts are being "flooded with responses".

"It doesn't inspire confidence that these people are in it for the right reasons," the whistleblower added.

Louise Calvey, of Refugee Action, said: "Issues with the scheme means it risks being a Tinder for sex traffickers."We are already aware of people with illegal motives advertising on social media."