Ukraine: Woman living in Seaford wants to "return to her home and her family"

A Ukrainian refugee – who is currently living in Seaford - says she wants to ‘return to her normal life’

Diana Tolkunova was working at the Regional Council of Nikolaev before she was forced to leave her home county on February 24
Diana Tolkunova was working at the Regional Council of Nikolaev before she was forced to leave her home county on February 24

Diana Tolkunova was working at the Regional Council of Nikolaev before she was forced to leave her home county on February 24 after Russian military forces began to invade.

Less than a month later, Diana’s former work building was destroyed.

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She said: “I just can’t believe in all this. I’m just horrified by everything that happens. Every day I want to go home, I want to return to our life, I still can’t believe in everything that happened and is happening.”

Diana Tolkunova has been in Seaford for the last month

Diana left Ukraine on her own to travel for 15 hours via train to Krakow, Poland.

She continued: “There were a lot of people, they were waiting for the train on the floor at the station, everyone tried to sleep there, after that they began to fill the train with us, everyone was very rude, we were just in shock, the children and I stood in the aisle where people get on the train, dog cold, there were no seats, and there was no place even for anyone to sit down.

“For two weeks I just cried every day and tried to somehow come to my senses, more friends of my brother from Ukraine arrived and we were all in this house, half were already sleeping on the floor.”

Diana’s mother was staying with her grandmother in Germany, so the 26-year-old bought a bus ticket and travelled to the city of Dortmund to be reunited with them.

Diana left Ukraine on her own to travel for 15 hours via train to Krakow, Poland.

The rest of her relatives are still in her home city of Nikolaev.

Diana said: “I bought a ticket and went further to my grandmother in Germany, also a bus full of ours and I’m going again, crying all the way and don’t know how to live on, where I’m going, why I’m going and my heart is horrified.”

Diana left with a sponsored visa to Seaford on April 14, where she is currently living with an elderly couple in the centre of the town.

Diana said: “Now I'm learning English and it’s very hard for me. Before, I never used English at all. Seaford is a very small place, But I really hope the war finishes because I want to go home. I want to help my country and my family. I don’t want to live in England after the war. Ukraine is my home and my life.

“I’m not good. I think sometimes it’s just a dream and soon I will open my eyes and I'll be back in Ukraine. I really want to see my family.”

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