Diabetic father trapped in Ukrainian hotel surrounded by ‘tanks’ has only half a bag of rice and noodles to feed his wife and 5-year-old son
A father-of-one from the UK and his Ukrainian wife say they are trapped in a hotel in the Ukrainian capital – Kyiv.
Nathan Rossiter, who worked as a search engine manager for a London firm, fears for his family as he says they are surrounded by “Russian tanks and soldiers”.
The 32-year-old father had come to Kyiv from Kharkiv with his wife and five-year-old son for an appointment to process their family visa application to the UK on Monday February 21.
He says they were told they would have to wait 24 hours for a decision to be made, so they decided to spend the night in the city.
Nathan said MyLondon that the family of three had been waiting for an answer, but on Thursday, February 24, Nathan woke up in his hotel room to the sounds of explosions and a Russian invasion.
READ MORE: Ukrainian grandmother battling cancer refuses to leave Kyiv as her family plans to escape
Nathan said: “The explosions are getting closer, it’s just surreal. I don’t want to think about what would happen if explosions started happening just outside where we can see them, where we are in real danger. It’s frightening.
“We’ve decided that if we see something, not just hear it, then we’ll go to the basement, or the basement of this apartment building, or the underground parking lot or something for shelter.”
The father-of-one says he is coping but struggles to find food to manage his diabetes and to feed his five-year-old son Leo as shops and pharmacies are closed.
He said: “Being also a type 1 diabetic, it’s worrying not being able to find an open shop and get food and supplies in.
“A few things can happen, if I have low blood sugar and I don’t eat or consume sugar, once my blood sugar reaches a certain point, I will pass out, then eventually go into a coma.
“My wife and I just eat less, as long as Leo’s stomach is full we can manage with smaller meals. We have about half a packet of rice left and some instant noodles.”
“We have nowhere to buy food or even water. I went out again today looking for an open store and couldn’t find one. It’s very scary when you walk around and hear the air sirens going off.
“The air sirens went off quite regularly today too.”
“Depending on how the situation develops over the course of the evening and night, I will have to go a little further than today and yesterday in the hope of finding an open store where I can stock up for us. .
“[My son] does not really understand what is happening, he wants to go home to Kharkiv.
Nathan’s local MP emailed her to tell her that her family visa had been approved, but as the invasion draws closer to Kiev, the family remains trapped.
The father-of-one said: “[The MP said] that we wouldn’t need to travel to get the visa stamps in Lena and Leo’s passport.
“He said once we can book a flight call the contact center and the Home Office will call the airline and let them know that Lena and Leo are cleared to enter the UK.
“Which was great news. But at the same time, nothing changes at the moment. We can’t go out. Very bittersweet moment.
“There is no way to leave at the moment as far as I know, we don’t have a car, we can’t rent a car. Kiev is surrounded by Russian tanks and soldiers, we don’t know the area.
“We live 300 miles away in Kharkiv. Where would we go? What if we encounter Russian soldiers along the way?
“We don’t have anything planned as we can’t do anything, we’ve been sitting in the hotel and just hoping things will get better very soon, but it seems unlikely.”
Nathan says he doesn’t believe the sanctions will make Putin back down.
He said: “I don’t think sanctions will stop Putin. He knew that if he invaded Ukraine, Russia would face heavy penalties, and he did it anyway.
“I can’t imagine sanctions will get him arrested now.”
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Now the 32-year-old says what was supposed to be a short trip to Kyiv feels surreal after waking up to explosions.
Nathan said, “We manage. It’s hard to explain, it’s so surreal. Four days ago we were happy to be in Kiev.
“Glad we submitted everything for the visa, looking forward to the future, looking forward to trying new restaurants here in Kyiv.
“We took our son to a huge indoor entertainment venue, everything was great, then here we are four short days later and everything has changed.
“Then Thursday morning I woke up around 6am to the sound of an explosion. I looked at my phone and saw all the notifications.
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