Terrified caller stuck in Kharkiv tells of fear on Ukrainian frontline

24 February 2022, 11:48 | Updated: 24 February 2022, 13:25

By Emma Soteriou

An emotional caller has told LBC that he is "terrified" as Russia continues its invasion into Ukraine, as he and his family attempt to escape the area.

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Sean revealed that he had been woken by loud booms on Thursday morning, as President Putin announced the "special military operation" in Ukraine.

He has been trying to get out of the country since November, but his wife is still in the process of getting a UK visa, which has been put on pause due to the invasion.

Speaking on Nick Ferrari at Breakfast, Sean said: "Kharkiv is in north eastern Ukraine - about 40km from the border - like from Edinburgh to Glasgow.

"I was woken up this morning at about 4.45am with vibrations and the sounds of loud booming.

"This was most likely the air strikes against the airports.

"Kharkiv airport is taken out and all other airports - my friends are saying the airports are gone.

"There's no planes coming out and we're hundreds of kilometres - a few days on the train - from the Polish border."

He continued: "We've been told to stay at home and not to take shelter yet. There will be a siren when we need to go to the nearest shelter.

"We're, as I mentioned, struggling to raise money so we can even just get on a train or car to get to the Polish border and, from there, figure out a way to get to the UK."

Read more: Footage shows 'moment Russia invades Ukraine' as armoured column rolls in

Read more: First photos from the Ukraine frontline: Harrowing images of Russia's invasion

"What is the mood?" Nick asked.

"Stressed. Personally, I'm terrified. I've been terrified for quite a while.

"We've seen this happen in slow motion. Russia has had build up since March last year - this isn't the past month or so - it's been happening progressively."

Nick said: "What is it that terrifies you?"

"I'm terrified it's going to be a repeat of Grozny in 1999, where Russia levelled a city. I'm terrified that Russia will do what they've been doing in Syria which is bombing hospitals," Sean said.

He explained that his wife is very sick and was meant to go to hospital today, which added to his concern.

Tearing up, he also revealed that he had a two-year-old child as well as dogs and a cat which are a part of his family.

Sean went on to say: "Like many Ukrainians, we want peace, we don't want war.

"We want to solve this peacefully but obviously Russia is an aggressor and they justify it as 'peace-keeping' or 'pacifying a Nazi country' when in reality Ukraine is a multi cultural and very open country."

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