World

The 83-year-old Ukrainian granny, who traveled 1,000 miles to flee Putin, dies of a heart attack days after arriving in the UK

A Ukrainian grandmother who traveled 1,000 miles to flee Vladimir Putin has tragically died of a suspected heart attack just days after arriving in the UK.

The Sun met Nina Pronchenko, 83, on March 9 outside a UK job application center in Rzeszow, Poland, as she waited in the snow with her daughter and British son-in-law.

Nina Pronchenko, 83, has died after fleeing Ukraine to the UK

2

Nina Pronchenko, 83, has died after fleeing Ukraine to the UKCredit: Dan Charity
Thousands of refugees have fled the country after the Russian invasion

2

Thousands of refugees have fled the country after the Russian invasionPhoto credit: AFP

She told us how she made the long journey by foot, train and bus from war-torn Kamianske, only to be turned away by clumsy visa evaders.

Weary Nina, warned she would have to wait at least two weeks for a visa decision, eventually made the journey to the UK with her Ukrainian-born daughter Natasha Pepper, 51.

She arrived at the family home in Sleaford, Lincs, on Wednesday but fell ill on Sunday and was rushed to hospital, where she died hours later.

Her heartbroken son-in-law Eric Pepper, 67, told The Sun: “We’re glad we brought her back and Natasha was able to be with her until the end.

Usyk says Russian invaders'shot' at his house and'draged away neighbors'
The Kremlin brazenly complains after Ukraine destroyed a fuel depot on Russian soil

“The alternative of dying alone and not being able to go to her funeral is really unthinkable. She was so happy to be with us and never complained.

“She always talked about what she would do if she came back. Ukrainians have a love for their country – broken as it is – that they want to return.

“You have a certain stoic attitude that is so admirable.”

Nina’s death comes amid growing anger at the government’s handling of the visa system for Ukrainian refugees.

Shocking new figures show that despite 28,300 applications, only 2,700 visas have been granted to people wishing to come to the UK under the Homes For Ukraine scheme.

A further 31,200 applications were submitted under the separate Ukraine family program – the same one used by Nina – which allows Ukrainians to join relatives in the UK.

Activists called the numbers “deplorable” and called on the government to “cut red tape” for refugees seeking refuge in the UK.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper branded the characters “shameful”.

She added: “The British have shown strong support but the chaotic bureaucracy of the Home Office is letting everyone down.”

In an emotional interview, Nina, wrapped up against the cold but still smiling, told us how she arrived safely alone in Poland after a grueling three-day journey.

She said: “As soon as the UK government opened their visa system I was told to leave my home immediately.

“Britain offered a safe place to stay for people like me with family in the UK. I packed my suitcase and went straight to the train station.

The alternative of dying alone and not being able to go to her funeral is really inconceivable.

Eric Pepper

“I waited all day for the first train, but it had broken down, so I went home.

“The next day I went back and the train just went through. It was full and wouldn’t hold up.

“On the third day, a tall man pushed me onto the train. There were people everywhere, on the floor, on the seats, the kids were in the overhead compartment.

“There were 32 people in a place for only four. The train was moving very slowly – about 20 miles an hour. At 8 p.m. the lights go out because they are afraid of being hit by the Russians.

“And it rattles along very slowly. It took forever. I was taken to a church and given food and a warm drink before boarding a 9pm bus.

“I’ve been going from queue to queue to queue so it was annoying to come here and find the visa system that gave us so much hope is in chaos.

“The British government are smart and I wonder if they think the war will be over by then so they’re holding out so they don’t have to take in refugees.”

“I ONLY WANT SECURITY”

Brave Nina, who has traveled to the UK on visas repeatedly over the years, said she had no intention of staying in the UK.

She emphasized: “Ukraine is my homeland. I just want to be safe, that’s all. When this is all over I will go back.”

Eric said: “The government is full of good intentions but the framework is lacking.

“We stopped by as soon as the visa system was available.

“We booked our flights and told her to get on the next available train to get off. It’s not an easy journey for an 83-year-old.

“I just can’t understand why the processing of the application should take so long. The government has to keep its word.

“The UK Government and Priti Patel have done nothing for the people they have failed.

Russian soldiers die after'eating poisoned cakes given to them by Ukrainians'
CBBC star dies aged 30 after battle with cystic fibrosis

“People are completely dependent on the good nature of the Polish hosts or, as in our case, on our resources.

“Now the reality of what happened has come in, I’m beyond words.”

https://www.the-sun.com/news/5040906/ukrainian-gran-flee-putin-dies-heart-attack/ The 83-year-old Ukrainian granny, who traveled 1,000 miles to flee Putin, dies of a heart attack days after arriving in the UK

DevanCole

Daily Nation Today is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@dailynationtoday.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button