Brit flees Ukraine as girlfriend on Russia ‘kill list’ for ‘f*** Putin’ bracelet

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A Brit has told how he had no choice but to flee Ukraine with his journalist partner as she is thought to be on “some kind of Putin kill list”.

Mancunian Jez Myers and girlfriend Maria Romanenko are now couch surfing in Poland, having spent an arduous 24 hours fleeing from the war-torn country.

Ms Romanenko is a prominent journalist in her home country, and has written many pieces which the Kremlin would class as “anti-Russian”.

And she recently posted a photo on Twitter of herself wearing a bracelet with the words “f**k u Putin” on it.

The pair had met up in Gdansk for a break, as it wasn't safe to meet in Ukraine a few weeks ago, but she wanted to return to her home – which he was happy to support.

Mr Myers, 44, exclusively told the Daily Star: “Ukraine is her home, and her family's home.

“As soon as we landed, they said that there was state of emergency in Ukraine..

“At that point, we already had contingency plans in place anyway, but we stayed the night and woke up to lots of people messaging me saying that there's been a full invasion of Ukraine.

“You go 'right, lets to get out'. It's also maybe more important to get out, because my partner is a prominent journalist within Ukraine.

“She has a good public profile, and produced and edited a magazine called 'How We Will Get Crimea Back', which was handed out to all of the UN leaders.

“So knowing Russia, knowing there is a kill list out there, you know, worst case scenario, my partner is very likely to be on that kill list – it's not a time to sort of worry about it.”

Maria's 60-year-old father is still in Ukraine, and has joined the resistance movement against the Russian invaders, while her mother and two brothers are living in a small village which should be “off the radar” of Russia – locations are not being detailed here for safety reasons.

The couple's journey to escape the country began on Wednesday, with a 10-hour drive to get a stop-off, before making the six-hour drive to the place where the queue across the border to Poland began.

And then a 24-hour trek across the border began – which involved around 10,000 people attempting to cross through just one pedestrian crossing.

There was, he said, no form of queue, “no food, no drink, no toilets or medical assistance” and just one person was passing through the border checkpoint per minute.

And, he added, it was around -4C.

He said: “Poland was the easiest place to get to, and I speak some Polish, we've got lots of friends there, and we've got a good support network here, too.

“It was the sensible option.”

But now the pair are in limbo, as Maria has, so far, heard nothing back about her visa application to the UK.

If the visa is approved, there is than a question of where it will be sent to and how she will collect it.

As it stands, she is unable to enter the UK without it.

Mr Myers added: “Her intentions are to return (to Ukraine) and she very much wants to return.

“And if she wants to return, as her partner, I will support her and return accordingly.

“We just need to make sure that it's safe and you know we're judging by what the Ukrainians are doing at the moment, judging by how the Russian economy is tanking right now – we hope that Putin does the honourable thing and the sensible thing, although we suspect he won't, and withdrawal from the country.

“She cannot enter the country (the UK), so we are going to be staying in Poland until we await the outcome of visa application, which will hopefully be positive but we don't know that for sure.

“We will continue to rely on the incredible generosity of Polish people who have offered us floors and sofas and food and drink – the Polish people have been absolutely incredible.”

Mr Myers' local MP for Denton and Reddish, Andrew Gwynne, has been supporting their application, which was submitted around three weeks ago.

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