A Ukrainian couple who fled a warzone has managed to start their own successful business since moving.
Anastasia Kozmina and boyfriend Oleksiy Danko, 22, fled their home village when Russia started its invasion of Ukraine. Anastasia worked as a lawyer, while Oleksiy, having had higher education as a pharmacist, worked at a drug manufacturing plant and at the same time dry-cleaned furniture.
But earlier this year their lives were turned upside down and now having arrived in Southport they have started their own cleaning company. Uklean deals with dry cleaning upholstered furniture. Anastasia said: “We were forced to leave Ukraine because of the beginning of the war in our country.
“We were simple people from a small village trying to build the best life for ourselves in Ukraine. We have been working and studying in Kyiv for the past five years.
“I worked as a lawyer in a private company that registered trademarks, while Oleksiy, having received a higher education as a pharmacist, was trying to get his own dry-cleaning business of upholstered furniture on his feet. And so, on February 24, our life was divided into before and after.
“Waking up that morning from the explosions, we had no doubt that we should run as far as possible. At that moment, we lost everything, our house, our job, and most importantly, our security and hope for the future.
“We stayed on the road for about two days, always being under shelling and destruction of Ukrainian cities. We have been living in Southport for about three months now, but our souls are still in that terrible February.”
Anastasia added: “Our life has turned 360 degrees, but we try to live on. Thanks to the big heart and friendliness of the English people, we feel at home. Having recovered and taking all the strength into our fists, we continue to live on and we decided to open a small business here and continue the business that originated in Ukraine.
“The Uklean company is a young, innovative team that keeps up with modern times. We are a young progressive team specialising in upholstery dry cleaning in Southport and the surrounding area.”