A former Moorlands man, who now lives in Ukraine, is appealing to the world to save him, his family, and everyone else who remains in the war-torn country. As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, former Leek College teacher Harry Richardson, and his Ukrainian wife Alina, have made a heart-felt plea video from their hometown of Uman which is situated in the Cherkasy region of central Ukraine.
A former Moorlands man, who now lives in Ukraine, is appealing to the world to save him, his family, and everyone else who remains in the war-torn country.
As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, former Leek College teacher Harry Richardson, and his Ukrainian wife Alina, have made a heart-felt plea video from their hometown of Uman which is situated in the Cherkasy region of central Ukraine.
The couple uploaded their video to YouTube yesterday (Friday, February 25) and it has already had more than 3,400 views.
We contacted Harry through social media to ask permission to share his video, which he was very happy for us to do. He said: “Please share with other people, the situation is terrible here. Please tell people the nightmare we are going through.”
In the video Harry says: “Hello, my name is Harry Richardson, I am an English teacher and I am a British citizen, and I live in Ukraine.
“This is my wife, she is Ukrainian, our family is Ukrainian, and I’m talking to you because we desperately need your help.
“The situation in Ukraine is dire, people are dying, the world can not turn away, sanctions are not enough.
“Ukraine is a wonderful country, Ukrainians are a wonderful people, they are hardworking, they are happy, they are just like everybody else.
“Please when you see this video, tell other people to watch it, tell your leaders, tell your politicians – we need your help. Sanctions are not enough. Please help us, help the people and help the children. Thank you.”
His wife Alina then says in Ukrainian, with the video showing subtitles: “We hold on, we are strong. But it will be very difficult for us to win over the terrorists, occupiers, invaders of our free Ukraine without your help. Glory to Ukraine.”
Harry lived in Leek for 30 years, teaching at the college for 28 of those, before moving to Ukraine in October 2018.
This morning Harry updated the Leek & Moorlands Echo saying: “We think our town will shortly be attacked, but rumours are spreading like wildfire. There have been skirmishes earlier.
“Uman is waiting, rockets have gone off for the past three days here and some paratroopers landed here this morning, they were captured by local residents and handed over to the police, I think.
“The word is that soon a force of Russian soldiers will be here, but information is not clear or always reliable.”
On how he and his family are coping in the situation, Harry said: “Just waiting, we get warnings to go down into a bunker below the building, but that is frightening, it’s cold, dark and claustrophobic.
“It’s so hard to paint a picture of the tension, worries and feeling of helplessness.”
As for why he and his family have not fled Ukraine like so many have already, Harry said: “Fleeing is not so simple, where to?
“The obvious answer is Poland as far west as possible, but there were rumours the roads would be bombed, and if I’m perfectly honest we were not expecting this.
“Sure Putin was puffing out his chest but popular and most political opinion was it was exactly that, puffing out his chest.
“Additionally, I own a house here now and didn’t want to just up and go, I was wrong but it’s a little late now. We made a judgment, perhaps wrongly.
“If it was me, I’d be back in Leek now, but there’s not just me to consider.”
As for if he has armed himself in readiness of any attack on where he and his family are right now, Harry said: “No, the general consensus is that if we arm ourselves we are putting the children at greater risk.
“Most sensible thing is to raise your hands, it’s not cowardly, great courage has already been shown here in so many different way.”
Watch Harry’s video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sMmGDw3NXE.
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