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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Amy Sharpe in Korczowa, Poland

Terrified Ukrainian mum and daughter escape to Poland after hometown is hit by airstrike

A mother and daughter who fled their hometown after it was hit by an airstrike 18 miles from the Polish border yesterday had believed they would be “safe” from Russian attacks.

Terrified Iryna and Tania Komisar were woken by sirens before the “skies turned red” as missiles landed near their house in Yavoriv, killing 35 and leaving 134 wounded.

They hid in their home until the “roaring” had stopped - then Iryna’s husband drove them near the border where they shared a tearful goodbye before the pair walked two hours into Poland.

Speaking after their arrival in Korczowa yesterday, Iryna, 47, wept: “No-one believed that [ Russia ] could attack us, so close to the border.

“Today I am in shock, I cannot believe the whole situation. I do not believe that I am here.”

Follow our live blog of the Russia Ukraine conflict here

The terrified mother daughter duo described the moment the 'skies turned red' over their home (©Stan Kujawa)

The women told how friends in Poland are now “packing their bags” and preparing to move west over fears Russia will advance into the country following yesterday’s attack.

The 5.45am strike at a military base in Yavoriv happened hours after the Kremlin had warned that western supply lines into the embattled country were “legitimate targets”.

Foreign languages student Tania added: “When I saw the sky I woke everybody. We were afraid to hide in the basement because our house could be ruined and we wouldn’t be able to find a way out.

“The home was trembling. I don’t know how to explain the sound - it was like roaring.

“We had ten minutes to pack while they were attacking.”

Tania, 20, has not been able to find out if she knows anyone who died in the missile attack.

Ukrainian servicemen carry rocket-propelled grenades and sniper rifles as they walk towards the city of Irpin, northwest of Kyiv (AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s a small town and we know each other but now I don’t know who is killed, she said, adding: “I’m scared.”

Her father Oleksandra, 55 - Iryna’s husband - a school facilities worker, has remained in Yavoriv to volunteer and potentially fight.

Iryna, an English teacher, added: “[After] we were gone, he told us there was an alarm again. We have told him to ‘find a safe place and be careful.”

The mum and daughter said multiple fires were burned near the city on Friday night - which they say is “suspicious” and fear it may have been a way of marking Yaroviv out as a target.

“Maybe it was a signal to somebody, we don’t know,” Tania said. “They do this every year to clear territory, but this time it was at night, not morning. [Perhaps] their aim is to mark the land, to see from the sky where they should attack.”

The aftermath of air strikes on residential buildings in Chernihiv (State Emergency Service of Ukrai)

Iryna pleaded with the UK and other NATO countries to enforce a no-fly zone to protect the people of Ukraine. “Tell your people to close the sky - tell everybody,” she begged. “It’s the only way.

“Putin isn’t afraid of anything, he’s just attacking and he doesn’t care.”

The pair are now headed for Krakow but hope to join Tania’s sister Nastia, 24, who is currently in Malaga, Spain. “I did not want her to go, I was very angry with her - but it is lucky she is there.

“I do not believe that I am here. My heart is in Ukraine and I will come back.”

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