A FAMILY has told how they found sanctuary in a South Wales town after fleeing their home in Ukraine.

Marnyna and her husband Vadym Korolov fled their home in Kiev amid the ongoing Russian invasion to Gwent in 2022.

Mrs Korolov was heavily pregnant with her third child as they fled to an air raid shelter at 6am as explosions began to hit the city.

She said: “At 6.10am we were already driving along the Zhytomyr Highway and calling friends and relatives to warn them.

“Our boys heard explosions, their eyes full of fear. My small son Sam said, ‘Mom I can feel the bones in my body shaking!’ The world seemed to freeze at that time.

“What followed was a long journey giving birth to baby Emmanuella in an air raid shelter, extreme fatigue, and an incredible desire to continue living and to help everyone. Ukraine became a powerful call centre with one heart.”

Now, Mrs Korolov and her family are settled in Abergavenny and have become popular with the local community due to selling their freshly squeezed fruit juices outside the Market Hall and for her jewellery made in the blue and gold of the Ukrainian flag.

She told the South Wales Argus that she feels accepted by locals and that her children are thriving in their new schools.

“The Russian aggressor forced us to leave our home, our business and everything dear to us, but the Welsh Government provided us with help as refugees and our sponsor Jim Frost kindly provided his home so that we could adapt and try to start a new life.

“Local voluntary organisations and many caring Welsh people showed the utmost care, warmth, and hospitality!

"Our eldest son is at Crickhowell High School, our middle son is at Llangynidr Primary School and baby Emmanuella attends the nursery at Nevill Hall, Abergavenny."

She explains that the family has found peace since fleeing Ukraine and is supporting volunteers to deliver help to others in Ukraine.

“Our children have found new friends and step-by-step they feel accepted and happy surrounded by their peers and teachers.

"We are actively supporting brave Ukrainian volunteers who deliver help to those in need back home.”