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tv   BBC Wales Investigates  BBC News  May 8, 2022 10:30am-11:01am BST

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steelworks in mariupol. more questions for the uk opposition leader sir keir starmer over whether he broke lockdown rules. a leaked memo suggests a meal he attended was planned, despite covid restrictions. the official who oversaw the crackdown on pro—democracy protests in hong kong in 2019 has become the territory's new leader. john lee was the only candidate to replace carrie lam. now on bbc news. families ripped apart, and lives that will never be the same again. bbc wales investigates reports on a mother and her three children hiding out amongst the ruins of mariupol. we've all witnessed the horrors of war and fold in ukraine.
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of war unfold in ukraine. my friend from school, their apartment was destroyed. herfriend is finding out with her children amongst the ruins of mariupol. will they make it out to the safety of friends in wales? those with loved ones there are desperate to bring them here. keep trying, keep trying. how many times do i try? as thousands offer their homes, are too many still waiting? it's been a long journey for the roberts family. from ukraine to north wales.
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it's taken weeks and thousands of miles. gareth and wife natasha went to rescue her daughter and granddaughter. now refugees, they know they're amongst the lucky ones. how are you, natasha? not well. terrible. russians would not kill children. sorry. she wants to tell her dad that she's arived. ukrainian men have been asked to stay behind to help defend the country.
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suddenly, there's another siren. in your home? apartment. also in street. bomb warnings are broadcast on tv to warn of incoming attacks. siren wails. it's a far cry from their old life in the country they've left behind. the couple run their own property business. she dreamt of becoming a lawyer.
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life was good until war came. as the russians invaded, they took their dog and a few belongings before leaving and heading for wales. a last kiss from her dad. she doesn't know when she'll hug him again. millions have headed out of ukraine in search of safety. angelina and albina had to drive across the country and over the border to slovakia to
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apply for visas to allow them to come to wales as refugees. the uk government has promised to open doors and give sanctuary to people fleeing ukraine, but the families we've been following feel that the visa system is anything but straightforward. i'm going to see a welsh ukrainian family who settled here. they have friends and family trapped in ukraine. nataliia, from kyiv, married a man from north wales. they're raising their young son and daughter here.
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they started saying, is anybody coming to help us? there was nobody coming. she just wanted to say goodbye. nataliia's mother and stepfather live in eastern ukraine, which is seen amongst the worst bombardments. as things escalated, nataliia begged them to come to wales. thousands were fleeing the region. to do that, they had to leave her elderly grandparents behind. my grandfather looking after my grandmother now. she after my -randmother now. can't take care of hers she can't feed herself. - after my grandmother now. can't get up on her own. i after my grandmother now. it was a very hard decision for
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my mother to leave him there. very, very hard. not knowing if or when they return, they boarded a train. the train was so full. there were so many people who didn't fit. theyjust closed the doors. i called mum and she said they are all in. half an hour later... half an hour later, they are still here _ she said because people are just going under the train, and saing if we have to die, better here than from russian army. pure desperation. they were heading for warsaw, where nataliia and the family went to wait for them. finally, they spot them.
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she laughs. these women were able to come to wales, but to stay, they have to apply for refugee status. how is it to have mum here? it feels good. it isjust my mum here with me. what we feel_ it isjust my mum here with me. what we feel sorry — it isjust my mum here with me. what we feel sorry about and we feel guilty— we feel sorry about and we feel guilty and upset, is my grandparents who are _ guilty and upset, is my grandparents who are still in ukraine. nataliia is also desperately waiting for
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news from one of her closest friends, julia. she's trapped in mariupol with her three young daughters. ijust saw the video which my friend sent to me. the bombing and shooting at night. she took that video and ran to hide. in a communal bunker, julia tries to distract the girls from the horrors unfolding above them. they sing in ukrainian. they're hiding amongst these ruins in their own city, which is under relentless attack. julia has been keeping a video diary.
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it's hard to explain war to a child. is not safe anywhere in ukraine at the moment, but there is so dangerous. all the shops were destroyed. they had no supplies and i ran out of food at some point. when it started to rain, they were
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able to drink for the puddle. nataliia is trying to find a way to bring them through the ukraine sponsorship team. julia is alone with the girls. her husband is fighting on the front line. and as they hid, their home was hit. julia went back to film the destruction. they'd lost everything. their apartment was destroyed. totally destroyed. that wasjust by that was just by the window and they
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were lucky— that was just by the window and they were lucky they were not sleeping when _ were lucky they were not sleeping when the — were lucky they were not sleeping when the shooting happened. they need to— when the shooting happened. they need to get out or they are just going _ need to get out or they are just going to — need to get out or they are just going to die there. nataliia was trying to find the fastest route out of ukraine forjulia and the girls. it had taken weeks for these two to rescue their loved ones. in march, i travelled with them from north wales across europe to slovakia to look for their family. we head to a refugee crossing point to look for angelina and albina. hello! remember?
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next morning, still in slovakia, gareth has to begin organising visas to bring them to wales. and he says it's already proving difficult. i'm in a situation where i made an application several days ago. but ijust simply could not get an appointment, and they said keep trying, keep trying. how many times do i try? albina is missing her dad. albina and her mum may not be
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in danger, but they are in limbo until they can get visas. in caernarfon, natalia's mum and stepdad are exploring their new surroundings. how did you cope with that decision? she's heartbroken and feels like she betrayed him. she's going to explain him... while we're filming, there's a call.
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it'sjulia, who's been trapped in mariupol. it's nice to see you. i am so glad that you are safe. it's the first time she's been able to call in weeks. she's in a basement. there was no shower, i no toilets, no electricity. they had some food. somebody was stealing from supermarkets - and giving to them.
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the kids were asking for food so much. they feel bad... julia's video diaries show things are going from bad to worse for her and the girls. her middle daughter had become ill. julia has to leave the children while she looks for water amongst the ruins.
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but it's the sights of war which are leaving their mark on them. she did say that people in mariupol were killed by rockets. they had no hands, no legs, their bodies were destroyed. they were putting those pieces together and burying them. she feels sorry that she couldn't bury them because she just turned around and left. julia left mariupol when a humanitarian corridor was offered by the russians. so, they started to move out of the city, and city wasjust destroyed. the driver who lived there couldn't recognise her to go. he didn't know which way to go because everything was destroyed.
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they managed to board a train heading west to escape ukraine. they'll have to build a new life. nataliia wants to help them do that in wales. it would be a warm welcome for you here. she translates. more than 4 million ukrainian
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children have been displaced by this war. gareth and family are stuck in europe, staying in hotels and with friends because they haven't been able to sort out the visas. they've made it to prague. this country is ukraine. this is a ukrainian girl. are you still having school? are your friends online as well? one of my classmates in poland. and one classmate in france. gareth, where are you at now with the visas? it wasn't easy. i went to the british embassy to ask
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for help _ i went to the british embassy to ask for help. they said go online. we had to scan and upload documents. we must get approval before we try to enter the uk. but because we got some contacts here, we're in a better position than the majority. albina, what do you think of all this? i want a visa because i want to visit us now. a few days later, there's news. visa! oh, yes! super, super, super! gareth could finally bring his family home to wales. bye—bye, prague!
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they were amongst the lucky ones. by the end of march 70% of those applying to come to the uk were still waiting for visas. nataliia's mum and stepdad are setting in, but officially, they are still tourist and not yet refugees. without this visa, they cannot work. it's difficult now because they are proud people, they feel like they're a burden. until they become refugees, they face restrictions. she cannot register them with a gp, they cannot — she cannot register them with a gp, they cannot register with a bank. they— they cannot register with a bank. they cannot do anything. in march, 10,000 people across wales were offering to house ukrainian refugees, but with millions of people pouring over
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the border, by the end of last month, the home office had only issued 2300 visas. when we asked them how many ukrainian refugees had actually arrived here in wales, the welsh government couldn't tell us. they insist they have asked for the data, but have been told it's unavailable. the home office told us it's working as fast as it can to provide that information. gareth's family are getting to know their way around. my mother, my daughter, my name is angelina. it's blue and yellow. ukrainian colours. albina has a medical condition that requires
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treatment, she hasn't had it due to the war. gareth is trying to register them with a local surgery. next, they apply for a place at the local school. is this child currently attending a school _ is this child currently attending a school run — is this child currently attending a school run by gwynedd council? no. current school. how are you feeling about going to a new school? i'm happy, but little nervous. of course you're nervous. i not very well know english. your children, your classmates? things are settling for albina's family, but for many others, there's still confusion and delays when
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it comes to getting the right visa. the home office told us that more than 86,000 visas have been granted under various schemes. it's simply finding the forms and boosting staff members so that applications can be processed more quickly. nataliia has been hoping that julia and her girls can come to north wales as refugees. after escaping by train, they managed to board a mini bus with others to cross the border to safety in poland. hello, julia! how are the children, how are your daughters? are they happy, are they well?
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they want to come to wales, butjulia has to sort official paperwork. this family has found sanctuary, but so many others are still searching for it. it's albina's first day at her new school. english, welsh, not easy! it's a proud day for her mum.
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fantastic. before, i nervous, but when i visit the school, i happy. nataliia's mum and stepdad have finally been given permission to stay in wales as refugees. butjulia and the girls haven't yet made it. they're still in poland, where she's been given a home, found a job and the girls are in school.
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i would love to have her here. i was dreaming that she would be here, one day we would have a cup of tea in our dining room and see our life here, and they can have more happy life. ijust would love it. for now, they have a safe place to call home, but theirjourney is far from over. hello there. we are going to find some changes
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in the weather as we start the new week but through the rest of the day, a lot of fine and dry weather around. we are likely to see more cloud bubbling up through the afternoon but it should stay dry just about everywhere. warm spells of sunshine, temperatures 18 or 19 degrees. a little bit cooler perhaps around some north sea coasts. that cloud that does develop this afternoon, melting away during this evening. lovely end to the day. then we start to see some changes coming in, the cloud arrives is in western scotland and northern ireland, the wind picks up, rainjust waiting in the wings. much milder here than it will be in the clearer skies across england and wales. it could start monday at three or 4 degrees across rural parts of the south—east. scotland, northern ireland the stronger southerly winds, the cloud and rain develops more widely. it takes longer to reach england and wales, where it should be a dry day. increasing cloud from the north—west. we keep the sunshine in the south east, that's where it's going to be a warm day. quite a bit warmer than in scotland and northern ireland.
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this is bbc news. the headlines. an historic win. sinn fein becomes the largest party in the northern ireland assembly for the first time. but the issue of the post—brexit protocol could hinder the way forward. if the eu do not show flexibility we will take the action as the uk government that northern ireland's a place in part of the internal market and protecting the good friday agreement is absolutely there. i'm annita mcveigh, live here in northern ireland with the latest developments. questions are what happens next and what will it take to get politicians back here in a power—sharing government. president zelensky says diplomatic efforts are continuing to try to rescue wounded soldiers from the besieged steelworks in mariupol. more questions for the uk opposition leader sir keir starmer over
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whether he broke lockdown rules. a leaked memo suggests a meal he attended was planned,

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