AN ENGLISH teacher who is leaving Ukraine with his family has vowed to return to the city “where his heart belongs”.

Dan Baker, from Brighton, is crossing the border and into Krakow, Poland with his Ukrainian wife, Victoria, 34, and 12-year-old stepdaughter, Veronica, in the coming days before venturing to England for his brother’s wedding.

They originally fled from Kyiv in North-central Ukraine, before heading to Lviv in the West and will be in Poland until March 19 which is when their visas are eligible.

The family just so happened to acquire the visas to visit the UK a day before the Russian invasion on February 24.

While they are excited to come to England, the 41-year-old said he has "left his heart in Kyiv” and will return as soon as he can.

Speaking from Lviv, Dan said: “The day before the war started, we had just received visas for my wife and daughter so my wife and I had a couple of bottles of wine to celebrate.

"Then we woke up to war, the last two weeks have been the world’s worst hangover.

The Argus: Massive queues in Ukraine as thousands fleeMassive queues in Ukraine as thousands flee

“For us, it feels like just yesterday that first missile hit at 4am, two loud booms. Although we ran and left our possessions there, I also left my heart in Kyiv."

Dan said he was originally going to live in England with his wife Victoria but her settlement visa was rejected after Brexit. He said Kyiv has become his "de facto home" after leaving England in November 2016.

He added: “As soon as it is safe to return to Kyiv, we will return. Whether it is under Russian or Ukrainian occupation because we have a life there. Even if it means going back to sell our apartment, I’m not just going to leave it there.

The Argus: Picture from Maria Volkova, a photographer documenting KyivPicture from Maria Volkova, a photographer documenting Kyiv

“There is a long way to go, the war has just started. The people in this country know there is a long way to go and have been through it before. They will get through this, the Ukrainians are the strongest people I have ever met.

“I think we deserve to have a bit of a rest, we have been living on instincts at the moment. I think we will crash quite hard soon, the adrenaline has worn out.”