Ukrainian mum who fled war torn Kyiv says she does not feel safe in Peterborough after bike theft

"I spent eight days in an underground car park. We could not go outside – there were alarms every day.”

By Stephen Briggs
Saturday, 6th August 2022, 5:00 am

A mum who fled war-torn Kyiv with her 11-year-old son has said she does not feel safe in Peterborough after her bike was stolen in the city centre.

Oksana Moroz sheltered in an underground car park for more than a week when Russian forces started bombing the Ukrainian capital city earlier this year.

Now she has moved to Peterborough with son Illia to start a new life, taking part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme, and staying with Phil Gee – who managed to secure bikes for Oksana and Illia thanks the generosity of members of the Fenland Clarion Cycling Club, which he is also a member of.

Oksana and Illia with their bikes

But less than a month after moving to the city, she has been left devastated after the pink bike she uses to travel round the city was stolen on Thursday evening.

Oksana said: “I left my bike on Long Causeway at about 6.30pm. I went into Queensgate for 30 minutes – and it was gone when I came back.

"The bike is so important to me, so I can attend meetings and appointments. It is very expensive for me to come into the city on the bus.

"It makes me very sad and depressed that this can happen. I can’t feel safe in Peterborough now. I am very surprised this could happen.”

The stolen bike

Oksana arrived in Peterborough last month, having fled Kyiv earlier this year.

She said: “I had to leave my city when it was attacked by Russia. It was horrible. My city was bombed. We saw attacks every day.

"I spent eight days in an underground car park. We could not go outside – there were alarms every day.

"I had to move from the city for my son. He is just 11 – he needs to be safe."

Oksana and Illia found a way to leave Ukraine, travelling to Prague before coming to the UK.

Phil urged whoever had stolen the bike to return it. He said; “Whoever stole the bike, I would urge you to give it back. I would ask you to listen to Oksana’s story. The bike is so important to her.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.