AN ENGLISH teacher has arrived back in the UK with family after fleeing his Kyiv home due to the war in Ukraine.

Brighton-born Dan Baker, along with his Ukrainian wife Victoria and step-daughter Veronica returned to the city this weekend after leaving their home as the Russians continued their invasion of the country.

The family filled several bags of hand luggage with all their belongings and set off from Krakow in Poland to Gatwick Airport last weekend, and were allowed to take a view from the cockpit once the plane landed.

After their arrival in Britain, they caught a coach from the airport to Brighton, where they had an emotional reunion with their family and friends near the Palace Pier.

The Argus: Cat Pumpkin will stay with a family friend in Poland to avoid quarantine in the UKCat Pumpkin will stay with a family friend in Poland to avoid quarantine in the UK

However, the trio were forced to say goodbye to their pet cat Pumpkin, who has had to stay with a family friend in Poland for a while to avoid the prospect of the cat being quarantined on arrival in the UK.

“It was a bit upsetting, but she’s in a good place,” Dan said in a video.

His family have been staying with his parents and have wandered through Queen’s Park, the city’s promenade and had a Sunday lunch with family and friends since arriving back.

Dan and his family are among three million people to have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion of the country more than three weeks ago.

He had initially vowed to stay in Kyiv despite shelling from Russian forces, telling The Argus at the start of this month that “I’m not going to be bullied out of my home”.​

However, upon hearing news that Russian soldiers were “raping” women in occupied areas of Ukraine, he decided it was time for the family to leave.

Since leaving the country, Dan told The Argus: “We feel so much better now, much more relaxed. Although we are still in a bad position, we are safe and out of imminent danger.”

A fundraiser set up by the family to help them with living costs has now raised more than £5,000.

People can donate to their JustGiving campaign at

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