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escape Irishman in Ukraine opens up about terrifying journey fleeing Kyiv to get to safety with his family

Brendan Murphy from Co Louth fled his home in Kyiv with his wife and her family


Brendan Murphy with wife Marina

Brendan Murphy with wife Marina

Brendan Murphy with wife Marina

An Irishman living in Kyiv has opened up about his terrifying journey away from Kyiv to safety in a bid to flee Russian forces.

Brendan Murphy from Co Louth wanted to flee Ukraine before Russia invaded but was impeded as the government required his wife, her mother, her daughter and her three-year-old granddaughter to have Visas to enter Ireland.

Speaking to RTÉ News, Mr Murphy confirmed he managed to flee the capital but is still hoping to leave Ukraine.

"We're outside of Kyiv now," he said.

"We were in a hot zone with cruise missiles and bombs and paratroopers,” he explained.

"They're killing ordinary people," he said, relaying how he had heard reports of civilians being killed.

Murphy said that there were also reports of the Russian military calling to homes "to steal and to kill."

He begged for businesses to cut off all trade with Russia immediately.

"They need to cut Russia off, today, now. This minute. It doesn't matter the consequences for them because we can fix that after this. But you can't bring a child back, you can't bring a grandfather back,” he said.

Mr Murphy detailed their terrifying journey away from the capital.


Ukrainian soldiers on patrol in Kyiv (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Ukrainian soldiers on patrol in Kyiv (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

Ukrainian soldiers on patrol in Kyiv (Efrem Lukatsky/AP)

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"As we made our way, we went through some areas that were attack zones and we were made wait as the Ukrainian army fought and we were sent on many different small roads, sometimes four hours for 10km, 14 solid hours driving and hardly a distance travelled.

"My mother-in-law is very confused and very upset, my wife is upset."

Murphy said that his friends and neighbours in Irpin are suffering, and with its many links to Ireland he urged the Irish people to send support via the town’s Facebook page.

He said their friends and neighbours from the town of Irpin outside Kyiv were suffering greatly.

"Just send them a small message with a flag and 'I support you'. It will raise their morale. Many, many people have been killed in Irpin," he said.

"It's bad enough that we know our neighbourhood has been bombed, houses where people live. People are underneath in the car parks and in the small service areas hiding as missiles hit buildings. They're not military buildings.”

Many people from the town are fighting back and have signed up to become volunteers.

"You get your ribbon, your gun and your ammunition and your orders to defend a certain place.

"They fight very hard, there's many tanks, many troop convoys."

His focus and responsibility now is to bring his family to a "reasonably safe place."

"It will take time, a long time to get there. But they need to rest. I fear for their health so they need some days to rest, to recover, to go to the border to sit for some time.”

“To go through the trauma of having refugee status will be far too hard, and I'm not going to do that to them," he said.

Discussing Russia's intentions, he said that they want to “destroy” the country and make it “look like Syria or Iraq - a shell and dust and that's not going to happen."

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