A Staffordshire teacher who fled to Ukraine still experiences nightmares

Alina, the wife of Harry Richardson

After being forced to take cover from Russia's invasion in Ukraine, a British man said he still has nightmares about his ordeal.

With his Ukrainian wife Alina by his side, Harry Richardson left the country in the midst of a civil war and went back to Leek, Staffordshire, where he was raised.

For more than three years, the 63-year-old had been residing and working in Ukraine.

He claimed he was still a little afraid, though, almost a year after his return.

He told the BBC that it had been harder than he had anticipated. Not settling in, but putting the past behind me. ".

Harry Richardson and his wife
Along with his wife and stepchildren, Harry Richardson fled the Ukraine via Moldova.

It's wonderful to be back home, I'm absolutely thrilled to be here, he said.

"But, and my wife doesn't really even know this, I occasionally have bad dreams—I wouldn't say nightmares—where I still feel like I'm there.

"I believe it has also left me psychologically a little frightened and delicate. ".

After seeking refuge in a school's basement, Mr. Richardson and his wife, along with her daughter and grandson, fled Ukraine through Moldova.

More so than I had anticipated, he said, his experience "had an impact.".

Three months prior, he recalled, "I was working in our home when some fireworks went off unexpectedly, and I nearly jumped out of my skin.".

"It was a flashback to the past. ".

Since then, Mr. Richardson has resumed his teaching career, even offering online courses to students from the same Ukrainian town.

Alina, he said, had been "very strong" ever since she was made to leave her homeland, but she had made it back to see her family and "put her mind at rest a little bit.".

She has been much stronger than I have, he continued.

When the war is over, Mr. Richardson stated that he and his wife had not decided whether or not to go back to Ukraine.

He remarked, "That will need to be a serious and protracted conversation.

Naturally, my wife will want to return there. She lives there, and her family is present.

"A part of me wants to stay in England, with everything I'm accustomed to—my friends and family, as it were—but obviously, my wife.

So, it's a choice that I haven't even considered making yet.

. "

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