This video can not be played
A British man who travelled to Ukraine on the eve of the Russian invasion to support his partner has admitted they "clearly underestimated the threat".
Jez Myers, from Manchester, said he and journalist Maria Romanenko arrived in Kyiv on Wednesday after he "tried and failed" to get her to stay in Poland.
The couple have now fled the Ukrainian capital to the border near Lviv and are attempting to cross into Poland.
The 44-year-old said the atmosphere was "chaotic" and people were "tetchy".
Mr Myers, a business consultant, said Ms Romanenko had applied for a visa to come to the UK, but it had not come through by that time.
On 13 February, he told the Press Association that he had been due to return to Ukraine to meet up with Ms Romanenko, but had decided not to, saying it would be "naïve at best" to ignore the Foreign Office's advice not to travel.
Instead, the couple, who have been together for almost two years, met up in the Polish city of Gdansk.
After a nine-day break, Ms Romanenko decided to return to Kyiv.
"Maria is a proud Ukrainian journalist, [but] she clearly underestimated the threat and said that she wanted to return," he said.
"I tried and failed to convince her to stay in Poland."
He said that he did not support her decision, but was "put in a position of choosing to leave my partner to fend for herself or be there to support her if bad things happened".
The morning after they arrived in Ukraine, Russian forces launched a major assault, firing missiles on cities and military targets.
He said that meant enacting a plan they had made for if the worst happened and they quickly joined thousands of others driving from Kyiv to the border crossing near Lviv.
He said they drove for more than 10 hours, passing long queues at petrol stations and queuing for hours to refuel themselves, and since arriving, had been queuing at the border for about six hours.
"We are tired but, most importantly, safe," he said.
"That we are standing in the queue now is as a result of my contacts and contingency plans put in place."
However, he said he did not know how long it would be before they were able to cross into Poland.
"Whilst Poland may be metres away, it is also still hours away," he said.
Why not follow BBC North West on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You can also send story ideas to email@example.com
BBC Ukrainian editor: My son and I packed, and just left Kyiv
Ukraine urges residents to defend the capital
Your guide to understanding the Ukraine invasion
A572 Chapel Street in Leigh closed due to collision – latest updates
Oldham bid to reignite survival push against Exeter
Warnings as blaze hits moor
Leading art institutions show solidarity with Ukraine with fundraising events
Meet the Bridgerton star Polly Walker from Warrington ahead of series two
Sir Martin Broughton vows Chelsea will never have to fight for future again
Zelensky calls for peace talks 'without delay'
Putin hails war with concert and heroism lessons
Drone shows extent of devastation in Mariupol. Video
Putin has redrawn the world – but not the way he wanted
What have been Russia's military mistakes?
'If any couple is going to survive this, it's them'
'My employer kicked me out because I caught Covid' Video
Putin's war gives Macron a boost in election race
How crowdsourcing is rescuing people from Ukraine
A little joy for Jewish children's home refugees. Video
Celebrations and sand: Striking photos taken this week
Is she the witch he is after?
A failing witchfinder and his suspect find themselves on a hellish road trip…
Chill out with a red hot foreign drama
The very best from around the world including Beck and The Bridge
Hunting Britain's most wanted criminal
Kevin Parle has been on the run since 2004 – will he ever be brought to justice?
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.
Ukraine: Couple 'underestimated threat' before travelling – BBC
This video can not be played