Sprowston Ukrainian woman's fears for family after Russia invasion

Ukrainian Natalia Scott who lives in Sprowston 

Ukrainian Natalia Scott who lives in Sprowston - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

“My family need help now.”  

That is the stark message from a Ukrainian woman living in Norwich whose daughter, brother and mother are trapped amid the bloody Russian onslaught. 

Now desperate Natalia Scott is begging the UK government to immediately open channels to get innocent Ukrainians out of the war-ravaged country and to safety. 

Mrs Scott, 43, is waiting by the phone for updates from her elderly mother who lives alone near Chernobyl.  

The power plant, where a nuclear disaster hit in 1986, has now been captured by Russian forces.  

Meanwhile Mrs Scott’s 22-year-old daughter is fleeing to the Polish border having refused to return to Norwich and abandon her boyfriend.  

The terrified mother told the Evening News she fears for the lives of her loved ones.  

Most Read

Mrs Scott was born in Kyiv and has lived in Sprowston since 2017 after her husband Gordon - originally from Glasgow - was offered a job at Ikea. 

Mrs Scott - who moved to the UK through a spouse visa - has been rocked by the news of Russian president Vladimir Putin ordering forces to launch a major assault of Ukraine.  

Ukrainian Natalia Scott pictured in Norwich the day after the Russian invasion of her country 

Ukrainian Natalia Scott pictured in Norwich the day after the Russian invasion of her country - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

She said her friends and relatives are seeking refuge in make-shift bomb shelters, kept up by the sound of shells dropping. 

Mrs Scott, who used to work as a hotel receptionist, said: "My friend messaged me saying she is sitting in a bomb shelter feeling powerless with two kids. They are scared of the noise of bombs everywhere.” 

Mrs Scott's 72-year-old mum Nina Nikiforov is seeking shelter in a small village while her 52-year-old brother Ruslan is still sheltering in Kyiv.  

Meanwhile her 22-year-old daughter Vika was last night making a daring dash towards the Polish border to stay with relatives. 

Vika chose to stay in Ukraine after her boyfriend's UK visa application was rejected but Mrs Scott is praying the couple will be allowed into the UK as refugees soon.  

While she has been able to message her relatives every day, Mrs Scott is worried she will lose connection to them completely as the Russian invasion intensifies.  

Natalia Scott pictured outside City Hall in Norwich 

Natalia Scott pictured outside City Hall in Norwich - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

Mrs Scott said: "We did not believe Putin would go that far. I have been speaking to my mum and we cannot believe this is happening after all the attention and sanctions from the US, UK and Europe. 

"We thought the worst-case scenario would be in the eastern part of Ukraine where two areas are already occupied but we thought the rest of the country would be safe.  

"Even just three days ago people were living their lives as normal. It was only on Thursday that they realised what was going on when they heard bombing." 

She added: "Kyiv is such a beautiful place. Moscow was a jungle when Kyiv was built with all these beautiful buildings but it could be blown away in the next few days because of Russia." 

Mrs Scott - who used to work as a receptionist at the Norwich Holiday Inn and Hotel de Paris in Cromer - has called on the UK government to open its doors to Ukrainians fleeing the war-torn country.  

She also hopes a no-fly zone is established to ensure the threat of military aircraft is avoided, as well as sending supplies to Ukraine when faced with a humanitarian crisis.  

Mrs Scott added: "When I woke up on Thursday I had so much panic. My husband got me up at 6am saying there had been an invasion. I know I have to stay calm as panic will not help anything.  

Natalia Scott is a Ukrainian who has lived in the Norwich area since 2017 

Natalia Scott is a Ukrainian who has lived in the Norwich area since 2017 - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

"I see Ukrainians in UK social media groups asking how they can go to Ukraine to fight with lots of them being women too. I totally understand this as we love our country and want to protect it. 

"I can't shoot but whatever I can do to help soldiers I would do."  

The Sprowston woman has 10 Ukrainian friends also living in Norwich with more living in other parts of the county.  

Natalia Scott sitting near Norwich Market 

Natalia Scott sitting near Norwich Market - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

But Mrs Scott said Russian friends who she used to go for drinks with are now completely silent on the invasion.  

She added: "We live in a more open world. We are not in the Soviet Union anymore. We are a peaceful and friendly people who did not do anything. 

"The shock for me is that Putin has been allowed to grow to this level. I fear he is another Hitler and he won’t stop. 

The Ukrainian flag flying near Norwich City Hall 

The Ukrainian flag flying near Norwich City Hall - Credit: Kate Wolstenholme

"There are people sheltering in basements who are quite desperate and very, very scared."