Europe

Ukrainian refugee who refused to leave without pug reunited with parents in UK

A Ukrainian refugee who refused to leave the war-torn country without her pug has finally been reunited with her family in Scotland.

Dina Mykhailova was determined to flee Zaporizhzhia with her 12-year-old dog – but chose to endure eight months of hell until they were able to leave together.

The 38-year-old and her pug escaped just in time, because on the day they left the university she worked at was bombed.

Now the law lecturer has been reunited with her mum and stepdad in Inverkip, Inverclyde, after travelling across five countries via bus.

Dina said: ‘I am just glad to be here now with my family. It was terrifying at times trying to get here, but we are safe now.

‘Zeata is settling in as well, there was just no way I was going to go without her, no matter what I had to endure.’

Her mum, Viktoriia, 61, tried to get her daughter to give up her pet, but instead Dina tried to adopt a sausage dog she found roaming the streets.

However she was forced to leave the new dog with a neighbour as she could only take one dog on the bus.


Dina was required to wait half a year after she had Zeata vaccinated, meaning it took eight months until she eventually able to leave.

She then had to arrange extensive bus and train travel, as she was unable to go on a plane with Zeata.

Viktoriia said: ‘They had to get out of Ukraine on a bus through Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and then France.

‘I was standing in Central Station in Glasgow at 1am waiting on her train to arrive.

‘It was almost deserted, just us, and when I saw her again it was so emotional.’

Dina is now learning English at a college, but is desperate to return to Ukraine when it is safe to do so.

Her stepdad Bill Wyllie, 67, said: ‘She can speak a few words of English but not enough to get a job.

‘She would like to go back to Ukraine but it is hard to know what the future holds.

‘We are glad Dina is here and that she is safe, but she is having to start over.

‘She has had to give up her whole life, her job, her home and had to leave her friends behind. Her life is in Ukraine and that is where she should be.’

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