| 13.6°C Dublin

War horror Ukraine woman living in Tyrone is terrified she will 'never see husband or son again'

"I just want my husband and my son with me."

Close

Jurate and son Arturas

Jurate and son Arturas

Jurate and son Arturas

Jurate Vydamartiere's living hell is the fear she may never see her husband and son alive again.

For the Ukranian national, her every day is stomach-wrenching dread, uncertainty and a veil of tears.

It's a bleak existence for the woman who has made Northern Ireland her home.

She cries not just for her husband and son but for her country that has been invaded by Russia.

Last week her home town in Ukraine was under attack by missiles, and her son and husband lay frightened in their bunker they had previously used only to store food.

They never believed it would be used to save their lives.

"I am terrified I will never see my husband or my son, my only child, again," she said from her home in Omagh, where she came to earn money and gain visas for her most cherished loved ones.

"I speak to them through the day, through Skype, I can see them but when I go to work at night I have my phone beside me all the time and I'm terrified that I will get the text that they are gone," Jurate told the Sunday World this week.

Jurate, who has dual citizenship with Lithuania, revealed her son refused to leave the besieged country when he had the chance because he did not want his father to die alone.

Close

Nadia Smaidre speaks to the Sunday World about her husband and son who are living in Ukraine. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Nadia Smaidre speaks to the Sunday World about her husband and son who are living in Ukraine. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Nadia Smaidre speaks to the Sunday World about her husband and son who are living in Ukraine. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

"My son too has dual citizenship but when he had the chance he would not leave. He would not leave his father and he would not leave his country. I begged him but he said no.

"Now he won't even talk about it even though it is now too late. I spoke to him about escaping but he said no. He said would never forgive himself to leave his father.

"He is a loyal boy but it was so hard for me not to be able to make him get out. I just want my husband and my son with me. I want to be able to touch them, make them safe but I can do nothing. I'm terrified all the time, I cry all the time."

Jurate, who is being supported by the Omagh refugee hub, was planning the perfect life here for her family when war began. She had applied for a third visa for her husband and was waiting for her son to finish university before he would join them here.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

"Yes, that was the plan. I came here to earn more money for my family and get a visa for my Ukrainian husband. We would work here, be happy here but then this.

"I was in shock, now I am sick to my stomach all the time. Every time I finish my call to my husband and son I am so, so frightened that it will be the last. That I will never hear their voices again or ever see them again.

Close

Nadia Smaidre speaks to the Sunday World about her husband and son who are living in Ukraine. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Nadia Smaidre speaks to the Sunday World about her husband and son who are living in Ukraine. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Nadia Smaidre speaks to the Sunday World about her husband and son who are living in Ukraine. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

"In my darkest hours I think about them dying as so many others have but I push those thoughts to the back of my head. If anything happens to them I know I won't cope, I will lose my mind. I just cry and cry all the time and not just for my family but for all the others."

Jurate's husband Arkadiy and son Arturas are on the reserve list to serve their country. They have not been called to join the army but they are waiting and willing to fight for their country.

In Russia and Ukraine it is compulsory to serve three years in the military from the age of 18.

"I worry, my son has no military experience because he went to university. He was due to join the army when he graduated and serve his time. But I hope, I have to hope, that this will all stop before they are both called. They will fight, we will all fight, but at the minute they have been told to wait.

Close

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022.

Russian President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Feb. 21, 2022.

"My son is a child, just 20 years old, he knows nothing of war until now. At the start he was okay, now he is frightened, he tells me how scared he is, before he never talked much but now he talks all the time about what he and his father have seen. He has developed PTSD, I worry what he will be like at the end of this.

"I watch with them on Skype, they have a live Ukrainian stream, and we see more on that than what you see here on the news. I have wept, all three of us together cry together when we watch what is happening. Civilians, children, you are only getting a small look."

The traumatised mum says sleep is almost impossible, when she is not on night shift she is on the phone although she knows communication will be cut soon.

"I just have to keep thinking that this will stop, that my husband and my son will be spared from that animal Putin. I look at the TV and I watched the maternity hospital in Maripol... and the kindergartens and I cried. I cry all the time.

"My heart is broken, I feel helpless but I feel the pain of every single person in Ukraine.

The 56-year-old says Putin is worse that Hitler and has to be stopped.

"He is targeting civilians, he is targeting children, babies. He is trying to wipe out the next generation of Ukrainians.

"The Ukrainian president is with his people, he is defending his people, he has the support of his people."

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices


Top Videos





Available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or Google Podcasts.

Privacy