A Ukrainian refugee says she is the “happiest mum in the world” after being offered a home in the UK with a British family.
But despite their relief, the family are still living in terror pleading with the Government to speed up the process.
They remain trapped a mile away from the border of their besieged country.
English teacher Lillia Malona, 38, dad Vitalii, daughters Victoria, 14, and Ilona, six, are hoping to be among the first refugees to arrive in the UK in the next few weeks.
They have been offered accommodation at Sabrina and Tony Edge’s home in Driffield near Hull.
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The British family are former Londoners who moved up north with their three daughters - Emily, 19, Maddie, 16, and Kitty, 11, where they could live in a bigger home.
Lillia, who had just fulfilled her dreams by opening an English school escaped their home in Mogilev-Podolsky on February 24th with her family, as bombs rained down on their country.
They have moved a mile away just over the border to Moldova to stay with family as they wait for their UK move.
But they can still hear the bombs falling as they struggle to find food and fear Russian troops which have been spotted on the Moldova border.
As Lillia talks to The Mirror, sirens are going off to warn the community of an air raid but she wants to speak out to thank the British family who are. helping them.
“It is something what the people are doing in the UK. When you open your home you open everything, you are opening your heart too," she said.
“It is more than other countries do. They open a hotel which is good but to open your home, that is something incredible, they really feel our feelings and they don’t want us to feel like that. They are very sensitive in the UK.”
She says knowing they have somewhere to live has given her 14 year old daughter hope and the teen sent a WhatsApp message to a British family to say: “Thank you for giving us an opportunity to live in a safe country.”
“I have found a great family. I can’t believe it," the mum said.
“I am not scared, we are worried because it is a new place with new people and a new culture - but we are ready.
"It’s about a future for my children because I cannot see one here with no schools and them having to stay at home all the time."
She told how proud she was when she finally opened her school for 100 pupils this year and the renovations had almost finished including a Union flag painted on one wall and a red telephone box on another.
“My first dream was to open my own school and my second was to visit London," Lillia explained.
“When I opened the school I was saving a lot of money, my life was wonderful and my dreams had come true.
"My children were very happy they even painted a GB flag on the wall."
Explaining how she had to leave her school behind, she said: “I’ve lost one dream but I’ve got the second.”
Lillia said she found out Putin had invaded their country when her aunt phoned them, waking them up.
She recalled: “She said ‘wake up there’s a war in Ukraine ’. She could see rockets in the sky above her house - she lived 120 kms away.
“When I looked out of the window I could not see any people, everyone had stayed at home. They didn’t know what to do or who to call.
“I couldn’t even dial any numbers because I was just so shocked, I started crying and calling my relatives asking ‘What is going on? Is it true? Then we saw this video of the airport being attacked.”
She said she decided to flee because; “I don’t want my children to see or feel the war but they see us cry.
“I try to teach them not to hate people. I don’t want them to hate adults as it is adults who organised all this. My husband wanted to stay and fight but I made him come with us.”
Their host, Sabrina, said: “The Government really needs to do more to fast track this scheme, as the situation is getting more dangerous as time goes on. We need to get them out of there.
“They don’t feel safe at all. Lillia’s been going home to get more belongings and her children have been asking: ‘Mummy is our house still there?’ Mummy is our school still there?
“It is also not safe for the family in Moldova, the neighbours are all very pro-Russia, due to endless propaganda. Petrol is running low and it is three hours’ drive to the airport.
“As Liliia speaks English, this is the best place for her to be, and she is spending all of her time teaching her family English too.”
She says her children have embraced their new house guests and the children have set up a WhatsApp group.
Victoria recently reduced them to tears with her message saying: “Thank you for giving us an opportunity to live in a safe country”.
Sabrina took the decision to help by offering their two spare rooms after getting in contact with a charity that puts hosts together with refugee families.
The British family have now registered with the Homes For Ukraine site so they could make the move official and are willing to host the family ‘for as long as they need’ and Lillia on Friday will be able to add her details.
Sabrina said: “I am very frightened for the family, I have four children myself, and I just could not fathom having to flee my country to protect my family.
“A few weeks ago, Lillia was making Valentine’s Day decorations with her pupils at her school in Ukraine, and now everything is being destroyed.
“Liliia hasn’t slept in five days, and can barely eat. To put your life in a suitcase must be impossible. “
“Their home, business, and livelihood have been destroyed, but not their future.”