Ukraine-Russia war RECAP: Chilling warning Vladimir Putin could use chemical weapons – Reuters

Former Ukrainian PM says refugee bureaucracy could distract men left in the fight

Red tape preventing refugees from reaching the UK could distract husbands and fathers left to fight Russian forces as they worry about the safety of their fled families, a former Ukrainian prime minister has claimed .

Volodymyr Groysman served as Ukraine’s prime minister between 2016 and 2019 and has been warning of the Kremlin threat for many years.

He led a government task force to coordinate investigations into the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down by a missile launched from an area of ​​Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists in July 2014.

He also led the resettlement of Ukrainians from occupied Donbass and Crimea.

Now, although he remains in the country, his whereabouts are being kept secret as he finds himself on Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s death list as he works to defend his home.

But Mr Groysman, who said he heard bombers outside during his interview with the PA news agency, said he met those who had to flee Ukraine every day, calling the situation “tragic ” and “very scary”.

“I don’t just observe the pictures of these people, I also meet these refugees on a daily basis,” he said.

“So it’s a real nightmare for families and this nightmare, unfortunately, has a specific name.

“The name of that nightmare is Putin and he needs to be punished for it and I’m sure, I can tell you for sure, we’ll never forget what he did to us.”

The former prime minister said the country was ‘very grateful for everything the UK is doing for us in these difficult times’ but said he was aware of some ‘technical difficulties’ with Ukrainian refugees getting visas.

“If there is a possibility to reduce this bureaucracy for Ukrainians and help these people, of course it will be welcome, because I think you are not going to regret the fact that you care about Ukrainians because Ukrainians are very good people, they are very bright, they need your help.”

He added: “You also have to understand that every father or every husband who now holds the guns in his hands, he is really distracted from this war by the fact if he hears that there is some kind of technical difficulty that his family .”

A Ukrainian soldier stands guard next to a monument to the city’s founder, the Duke of Richelieu in Odessa (