Robert Rinder has been hailed as 'remarkable' by his Strictly Come Dancing partner after finding her Ukrainian family in Poland.
The renowned British judge successfully tracked down Oksana Platero's grandparents and aunt in the Polish town of Tuchów on Wednesday, confirming their safe status to the world with an emotional update.
Zoya, Vasili, and Lidya—who are aged between 75 and 90—escaped from wartorn Ukraine after a brutal seven-day-long journey this week. The Eastern European country was invaded by Russia on 24 February and has now been under the attack of President Putin's troops for 22 days.
The conflict has been widely condemned by the West, prompting the US, the UK, and the EU to impose strict sanctions on the transcontinental nation. It's also been received by an outpouring of sympathy from the public, as concerned folks everywhere look for ways to help the people of Ukraine during the crisis.
In photos shared by Robert yesterday, 'Auntie Lidya' and 'Grandma Zoya' can be seen tearfully hugging the broadcaster at their new temporary residence. Oksana's grandfather, Vasili, who has Parkinson's Disease, was not pictured.
Oksana’s family: Auntie Lidya and Grandma Zoya. We managed to reach them this morning with a wheelchair & some medical supplies..Despite having nearly nothing.. they are ‘grateful for everything’🇬🇧 🇺🇦 pic.twitter.com/5T6D13EMksMarch 16, 2022
Oksana, 33, was partnered with the criminal lawyer back in 2016 when he competed on the 14th season of Strictly Come Dancing. She is currently unable to travel to Europe because of work commitments in the US but has expressed gratitude to Robert after discovering he'd located her family.
"I can’t say thank you enough to my wonderful SCD partner @robrinder and his team for being there for my family and so many others," she wrote on Instagram. "You are a truly remarkable man and my love for you is limitless. The world needs more people like you."
A photo posted by on
“They’ve welcomed us with loving arms to this tiny place that they’re found shelter in," Robert told TalkRadio shortly after he arrived at Tuchów. "There are her two grandparents in one small room, Zoya and Vasiliy. Vasiliy has Parkinson’s—he’s barely able to get out of bed. Zoya greeted us all like a loving grandmother.”
We made it here thanks to our brilliant fixers.. Both called Oksana. ❤️ ❤️ @RickyJFreelove https://t.co/f4SmCeT2WX pic.twitter.com/CvR8BlJGueMarch 16, 2022
A photo posted by on
Robert also explained that they had managed to 'purchase' Vasily a wheelchair and basic medical supplies, adding that the Red Cross is running out of the essential resources.
“I have to tell you it’s a pretty rough journey to get here," he continued. "But boy, are they resolute. They are going to stay here until they can go back to Ukraine, which they say they hope is very, very soon.”
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Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.
Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.
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