Shropshire Star

Sounds of Shropshire recorded in bid to comfort relative stuck in Ukraine

A Shropshire musician has spoken of her heartbreak and despair over relatives who are trying desperately to escape the war torn country of Ukraine.

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Lisa Beznosiuk, who has family in Ukraine and has spoken of her fears for their safety.

Flautist Lisa Beznosiuk is desperate for information on her aunt Olya, 80, who lives in Rivine between Kyiv and Lviv with her son and granddaughter, who is heavily pregnant.

She recorded the sound of the church bells on Sunday in Clun where she lives and sent them via mobile phone to Olya - who visited the village over 20 years ago - in the hope of comforting her but she has not heard from her for over a week.

Lisa, who runs Clun Valley Music with husband Richard Tunnicliffe and also teaches at the Royal College of Music in London during the week, has a family history of relatives escaping conflict but said she had hoped that was now over.

She said: "My father was taken in by the English as a refugee of war and educated in Ireland – he spoke four languages. I am relieved he didn't live to see what's happening now he would be absolutely heartbroken.

"My grandfather was a Ukrainian refugee in Poland - it's ironic how history repeats itself.

"The family survived Stalin's enforced famine in the 1930s and they then moved back to Ukraine and lived through the Soviet years - miserable and cut off from the western world.

"So there is a lot of history in the family and I had hoped that was all over now but it doesn't look like it.

"I know there has been a history of conflict before but when you hear the Ukrainians speak so well in English on the radio and television and the amount of languages they speak you realise it doesn't matter where they come from and that countries shouldn't be fought over.

On her aunt she said: "My aunt is blind so the explosions and sirens must be terrifying. Her son is looking after her but she also has a granddaughter with them who is pregnant and expecting the baby next month. Her 12-year-old-son has made it to Poland - I think - but concrete information is very hard to find."

Lisa spoke at the Soup and Puds event at Clun Memorial Hall on Saturday which raised more than £5,000 for the Ukrainian appeal.

Money raised from the event will go to the Medecins Sans Frontieres charity and the UN Refugee Agency.

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