‘I would fight the Russians’: British man drives to Ukraine to be with his family

A British man who drove to Ukraine to be with his family has said he was “one hundred per cent willing” to take up arms against the Russians if it became necessary.

Ian Umney, from Manchester, has travelled to Nikopol in the southeastern part of Ukraine and told Sky News how he was “shook to the core” when the attack started last Thursday.

When asked if he would fight, the 28-year-old said: “Yes. People here have no choice. I’m here to help other people.

“If I need to bear arms, then I’m one hundred per cent willing to in order to defend Ukraine.”

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He told of the moment he learned about Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

“My world fell apart,” he said. “I was woken very early by my wife and she mentioned that they had started bombing.

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“Five coffees in my system I was up, I was frantic, the news was on – I turned on Sky News straight away – and I was shook to the core.

“My instant reaction was to get a car and to drive as soon as I could.”

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He added that his family and friends tried to talk him out of making the journey to Ukraine, but said that “love transcends war or danger, in my opinion”.

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A missile strike has caused damage to two buildings

Reunion was the ‘best feeling ever’

When approaching the border, he said the journey was “long” and “full of love and support” and he helped a team of people transporting women, children and soldiers inland, before taking a train towards Nikopol.

He described the reunion with his wife and son as “emotional” and the “best feeling ever”.

Despite the risks and wanting to bring his wife and child back to the UK, Mr Umney said “I’m not leaving” so he can help the Ukrainian effort and to stay close to his father who lives nearby.

Read more: Putin would get ‘harder, tougher and more indiscriminate’ as his invasion attempt lags