British-born teacher trapped in Ukrainian basement with young family as ‘destruction’ hits town

A British father has vowed not to be ‘evicted’ from his Kiev home after the Russian left him and his young family to take shelter in the basement.

Dan Baker has shared how despite the sounds of explosions coming from outside, he and his family were watching Netflix to try and maintain some normalcy.

And he even said he felt “lucky” because their house still had food, water, electricity and WiFi, adding that many people sleeping in subway stations found things a lot more difficult, reports Sussex live..

The 41-year-old teacher, who was born and raised in Brighton, said: ‘This is my home and I’m not going to be kicked out of my house.

“To be honest, I’m devastated.”

Dan has spent the past five years living in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev and now finds himself on the edge of a war zone.

Along with his Ukrainian wife, Victoria, his 34-year-old and 12-year-old daughter-in-law, Veronica, Dan said his family had holed up in a basement for shelter from the Russian invasion which began on Thursday 24 March.

“It upset me a bit, but as it is, we’re here,” he said.

Dan Baker, from Brighton, is in a basement in Kyiv with his family

The attacks on Kiev and many other Ukrainian cities came after Russian troops had piled up on the country’s border in recent weeks.

In the early hours of Thursday morning, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his attack and his forces have since moved rapidly through the east of the country.

Reports now suggest troops are closing in on Kiev.

Dan said: “I shouldn’t be afraid to live in my house and that’s how we feel, we’re very determined to stay here and see it through.

“But no matter how many times you hear these explosions, you will never get used to them.

“When it all started yesterday there was destruction maybe 10 miles from our apartment.

“For now, it seems to have calmed down a bit, although there are low rumblings that you can hear all the time.”

Dan continued, “Honestly, I don’t know. We just protect ourselves, try to be happy and try to keep living.

“Of course, if something is really wrong, I have the car ready outside and I have some fuel to drive out of town until we find more, or we can try to find a flight.”

Dan said he was able to go to the supermarket today to stock up (Image: Dan Baker)
Dan said he was able to go to the supermarket to stock up

When news of the Russian invasion broke, miles of traffic were reported fleeing Kiev and other major cities as people made their way to relative safety outside the city and towards the border.

Dan went on to describe his current life in a country under martial law and said that after being woken up at 4 a.m. by missile explosions he felt unsafe in his 26th floor apartment, he so moved underground.

“It’s not dramatic, but we are in the middle of a war and it is something difficult to manage,” he continued.

“I think I feel like there’s a lot of pressure on me to try to be strong for my family and it’s hard, you know?

“But we stay happy and we stay strong.

“There’s no one else here with us but we brought the cat – we couldn’t leave him behind.”

He added: “We went out about two hours ago [to the supermarket] before the last siren, then we came back and it felt like a normal day.

“People move on because they have to.”

He concluded: “Until we woke up yesterday morning there was no indication that anything was going to happen.

“Everything was great, everything was calm and there was no tension in the air.”

The advice from the Foreign Office is that UK nationals leave Ukraine if it is safe to do so.

For now, Dan and his family, who are Ukrainians, remain in Kyiv and powerfully challenge the defense of their hometown.

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