Stranded Ukrainian lorry drivers depart Kettering for home – BBC


A group of Ukrainian lorry drivers stranded in the UK for about two weeks have set off on their journey home.
They were part of a convoy of 13 whose fuel cards stopped working after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Most have since found other delivery jobs but the remaining five left a logistics company site near Kettering in Northamptonshire on Saturday.
Their fuel has been paid for by local companies and the lorries are loaded with aid including medicines and food.
The drivers were in the UK for about three weeks before the crisis in Ukraine caused difficulties for their employers and they were left without funds, loads or the right paperwork to return.
They gathered at Rothwell Truck Stop, which allowed them to use showers and other facilities for free, while a number of charities, companies and local people supplied them with food.
After a week they moved to the nearby Wincanton Argos distribution centre, whose staff ensured they had essential supplies while arrangements were finalised for them to leave.
They were cheered on their way by a team of volunteers who met through a Facebook group set up to support them and collect aid.
Volunteer Monica Petry said: "I'm honoured to be part of it and today feels like the mission has been accomplished, the effort has paid off."
The group was set up by Magdalena Packo, who said: "They're really happy, they're ready and smiling but it's a bittersweet day for us because they've become friends and we'll miss them.
"They want to make sure their families are safe and some of them have said they intend to fight for their country."
Their journey to Ukraine via a border crossing in Poland is expected to take about three days.
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