They flee the war in Ukraine, but decide to return to Kiev rather than live in Nottingham: «Terrible»

They flee the war in Ukraine, but decide to return to Kiev rather than live in Nottingham: «Terrible»

An Anglo-Ukrainian couple who fled the war decided to return after being unable to find acceptable accommodation a Nottingham. Joe Place, a 29-year-old British PhD student, and his wife Iryna, a 34-year-old Ukrainian who works as a content manager, left their home in Kiev in February to escape the conflict. But they weren’t gone long.

Russian nuclear missile against Kiev, because Moscow used the Kh-55

Difficulties in finding a home

Ms Place had received a visa to stay in England, therefore she could not apply for the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which allows her to have accommodation on favorable terms. After arriving in the UK, Joe Place said they were looking for a long-term place to live in Nottingham or Sheffield but were met with “terrible” housing conditions, high costs and rental requirements they couldn’t meet.

Return to Ukraine

After struggling for seven months to find a permanent home, the couple returned to Ukraine in September and now live in the western city of Uzhhorod, despite the risk of power and heating outages from Russian missile attacks.

The decision

The couple had arrived in western Ukraine for a short visit to see family in September but decided to stay put due to housing problems they were facing in the UK. “We’ve realized that we’re actually really enjoying coming back here and we’re doing well,” said Mr. Place. “But we wouldn’t want to go back to live in Kiev right now because it’s not safe.”

The future

The pair, who met while both teaching English in Ukraine in 2019, will continue to go “back and forth” to the UK to see friends and family. Mr Place said it would cost them over €1,700 a month to rent in the UK, compared with €500 in Ukraine.


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