Second anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine - reflections from Inna

Inna Rohoman is Outreach and Communications Officer for Settled's Ukraine Advice team

Today is the two year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Thinking back to the morning of 24th February 2022, I can still hear the sound  that woke me up at 5am, unknown to me until then. Deep and sharp at the same time. A knife stabbing into the heart of sleeping peaceful people… And then there was emptiness… Everyone has their own personal experience of realising and facing a new reality. For me, it was separation from my family, leaving my home, which I had nurtured with love. Strangers who lent a helping hand at every step…

The UK has not only helped with weapons, but also with homes for people like myself coming here soon after the 2022 invasion, and for people continuing to do so. Last week the government announced that applications for Ukrainian visas would be extended for another 18 months. 

Following this announcement, I was pleased to be interviewed by Sky News last Sunday evening in which I had the opportunity to share my positive experience of living with a host family. I hope my story will inspire British people to welcome more Ukrainian refugees under the Homes For Ukraine scheme. Sponsors are still urgently needed.

My story is not unique. The war itself is not about getting to a safe place. It is not about refugees. It’s about mobilisation, fight, blood, pain, loss… Madness of war.   

Recently, British people have often asked me, is the war in Ukraine over? My negative answer surprises people. It makes me feel helpless. Interest in the events in Ukraine is fading, whereas the situation is actually deteriorating.

Today I want to draw your attention to at least one tragic outcome of the war in Ukraine.  This week I was invited for a deeply moving private screening of Ukraine’s Stolen Children hosted by Human Rights Watch, with follow up expert discussion. The film showed the stories of families from different cities living under the occupation of Russian troops. It tells the difficult path of mothers getting to their children, the incredible dangers they risked to get them back. The return was made possible by a Ukrainian charity, Save Ukraine, that helps to find and return Ukrainian children to their families. 

The UK-wide charity, Settled, which I am happy to work for, continues to help so many escaping the war by providing free advice and support in Ukrainian. We help people to get vital visas and biometric residence permits to access not only safe housing, but also rights to education for our kids, employment, and welfare benefits if needed. As people struggle to move on from host families, we also provide advice on homelessness rights, and work closely with local authorities. We raise broader concerns and recommendations with the Home Office and media, including problems faced by victims of visa fraud. And we provide outreach and training across the UK. 

The need for new sponsors is ongoing and urgent. Settled’s Ukraine advice team is busier than ever.

If you would like to support our charity’s work, we would be very grateful for your donation. Many thanks for your interest and support.

Inna

Changes to pre-settled rules

The Home Office announced some changes to EUSS pre-settled status rules on 21st May.

Please do not contact Settled to ask about these changes until we are clearer, as otherwise our service may become overwhelmed.

It is important that we can continue to respond effectively to beneficiaries in need of urgent casework advice and support.
 
We are waiting for more detail, and will update our website information, Facebook forums, and leaflets as soon as possible. Many thanks for your patience and understanding.

The Home Office announcement is here.

We’re here to help you with your Settled Status to remain in the UK. We have 100 volunteers on hand who can provide advice in all EU lanaguages.

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