Ukraine tipped to recover all lost land in blow for Putin

Ukrainians living in the UK have reflected on the “perpetual hell” of 2022 – which has been filled with sleepless nights checking the news – and spoken of their hopes of having their country back in 2023 and reuniting with their “patriotic” loved ones.

Since Ukraine was invaded by Russia in February, the UN estimates that seven million Ukrainians have been internally displaced, while millions have fled the country to find safety elsewhere.

Data from the Home Office revealed that, as of August 15 2022, more than 115,000 Ukraine Scheme visa-holders had arrived in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine).

The Ukraine Family Scheme allowed fleeing Ukrainians to join or accompany a UK-based family member, while the Homes for Ukraine scheme matched Ukrainians with someone in the UK willing to sponsor them and provide suitable accommodation for a minimum of six months.

For Valentina Butenko, a 19-year-old student who was studying at the University of Central London at the start of the year, “2022 has been perpetual hell”.

She added: “This is probably going to sound very strange, but it’s also a year that I realized how lucky I am to be able to have things that I really love, and that I’m willing to fight for and protect,”

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