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Couple who fled Ukraine for new life in the UK have gone back to escape cost of living crisis

Couple who fled Ukraine for new life in the UK have gone back to escape cost of living crisis

Joe and Irina Place have decided that the UK is too expensive and returned to Ukraine

A couple who left Ukraine in order to flee the Russian invasion have decided to return to the war-torn nation because it is too expensive to live in the United Kingdom.

What with the price of literally everything soaring, from rent to food, fuel and heating, Joe and Irina Place have decided to return to the Eastern European nation to make their life there.

Joe – who is British – met Ukrainian Irina while they were teaching English in 2019, before moving back to the UK in February after Russia invaded.

However, they have now discovered that they could pay just £500 per month to live in western Ukraine, as opposed to the £1,500 per month they shell out to stay in the UK.

While they might not enjoy the same security they do in the UK, that’s still a lot of extra money to be forking over on a monthly basis.

They can’t return to Kyiv, where they were previously living, because ‘it’s not safe, but where we are is, mostly,’ says Joe, who is originally from Sheffield.

Joe and Irina Place.
Joe Place

Joe and Irina travelled to the UK under the family visa scheme, meaning that they were not eligible for the Homes for Ukraine initiative, which would have left them a bit of spare cash.

They started out by staying with family and friends and searching for a home around Nottingham and Sheffield, but found ‘terrible’ housing conditions as well as high bills and requirements that they simply couldn’t fulfil

Joe also said that landlords wouldn’t accept the money they had in their Ukrainian bank accounts.

"We doubled our budget and more [...] we had a very strict list of requirements and we just kept going 'OK, well, compromise on this, compromise on this, compromise on this'”, he explained.

"Anything we got even remotely close to getting was just terrible."

It says a lot about the current state of the UK that a couple would willingly return to a warzone because of conditions and costs.

But in September, that is exactly what the pair did.

The couple are now back in western Ukraine.
Joe Place

Joe continued: "We realised we actually quite like it back here, and we're OK.”

Back in Ukraine, they are now bracing for power cuts and heating shortages due to the Russian attack.

"They're trying to get people to get prepared that you might lose the electricity and heating for a bit," he added.

"That is something that is going to affect all of us, and that's going to be difficult."

Hopefully it won’t be too bad for them, and one day soon the war will be over.

Featured Image Credit: Joe Place

Topics: Life, Money