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Dad who flew family from UK to Ukraine for ski trip forced to sign up for war


Tymofii Dmytrenko, 39, fears he will become a “meat bag” as he has been put on standby to fight Russian forces following the invasion eight days ago. The IT specialist, known as Tim, jetted off with his wife and two children for the skiing trip on February 18, initially for a ten-day visit.

The family attempted to flee for the border when they heard President Joe Biden’s warning about the threat of invasion.

But Tim has been forced to sign up for the military and remains poised to join the war as all men aged 18 to 60 are now required to stay and fight.

His wife Iryna, 36, and their two kids, 11 and 15, are back in the UK after managing to get into Slovakia last month.

Speaking from Ukraine, dad-to-two Tim said: “I feel like, without any proper training, I’m kind of a meat bag at this moment in time, and this is worrying. I don’t know how these things will progress.

“It’s still a shock to many people here. We still don’t understand that this can be happening in the middle of Europe, next to the European Union.”

The IT worker has never held a gun in his life, reports Manchester Evening News.

Tim, who with his family has lived in Horsforth, Leeds, since 2015, added: “I think I am ready to serve my country, but I have mixed feelings.

“I have never held a gun or shot from it, and I don’t have any real military experience.

“But in my opinion, this is World War Three. If we lose, hypothetically, then Europe will get a mad man next to its borders who has a nuclear weapon.

“He will carry on and will be threatening Latvia, Lithuania – countries like that until it’s World War Three anyway, so it’s just a delay to me.”

Martial law passed by the Ukrainian government a day after Russia invaded now requires all men between 18 and 60 to join the army – so Tim was unable to go home with his family.

He managed to book tickets for his wife and kids to get a bus to a small town over the border with Slovakia.

“I put my wife and kids on that bus at 4 pm, and it was a heart-breaking moment for me and my family,” the dad said.

“Everyone was crying, my kids were crying, my wife was crying. I wasn’t able to stop crying for a few hours after that. But luckily, they got through the border.”

After saying his goodbyes, Tim went to the military registration office, where he was put on standby to join the war against advancing Russian troops.

But even if he does go into an active military role, he fears that men like him won’t prevent Russia’s march across the continent for long.

Vladimir Putin was last night accused of nuclear “blackmail” which could cause the “evacuation of Europe” after his latest attack on the largest nuclear reactor in the contintent.

Russian troops attacked the Zaporizhzhia power plant, shelling the facility in a move which risked creating a nuclear disaster 10 times larger than the Chernobyl nuclear disaster of 1986.



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