‘Living nightmare’: British couple stuck in Kyiv with newborn surrogate twins

Manisha and Metaish Parmar can hear explosions and gunfire from their apartment in the Ukrainian capital where they are stranded with their babies.

25 February 2022

A British couple who are stuck in Kyiv after travelling to Ukraine to collect their surrogate-born twins have described the situation as a “living nightmare”.

Manisha and Metaish Parmar arrived in the country three weeks ago as the surrogate mother gave birth to the babies they had been waiting for for 13 years.

They are now stranded in the Ukrainian capital with their newborns and Mr Parmar’s parents amid the Russian invasion.

Mrs Parmar told BBC Radio 5 Live on Friday: “Things are not good, we can hear explosions going off.

“It’s absolutely traumatising, devastating.

“We’re absolutely worried, we don’t know what to do. We can’t go anywhere, we’re just stranded and stuck in Kyiv.”

The family are in an apartment but have to seek shelter in a bunker when sirens go off.

Mrs Parmar said it had gone from what should have been the happiest moment in their lives to “an absolute living nightmare”.

She said: “We thought we would come here, see our newborns being born and have the best moments of our lives – 13 years we’ve been waiting for this moment.

“And now we’re just living this absolute nightmare and we just want to get out.”

The couple said the British embassy has issued emergency travel documents, but they have no way of getting to the western city of Lviv to pick them up.

Mrs Parmar said: “The roads are absolutely jammed and the trains are absolutely jammed too and with four adults and twins, it’s impossible.”

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Damage to property in Kyiv caused by an explosion during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (Maia Mikhaluk/PA)

She added that there is a limit of 20 litres of fuel per person, not enough for the eight-hour drive to Lviv, and a taxi will not take them that far.

Her husband said: “We’re pleading with the British Government and the UK embassy to help us get out of this place as soon as possible.

“Tensions are rising, things aren’t looking good or sounding good where we are, around us.

“The environment is very stressful and we are obviously scared, we don’t know what to expect right now.”

Mr Parmar also said he and his father have been going “with caution” to a local supermarket to get nappies and other baby supplies.

They have picked up whatever is available for the adults, such as water and biscuits, but there is “very limited stock at the moment”.

They have spoken to locals outside their apartment to seek help, but “unfortunately the language barrier here is difficult”, Mr Parmar said.

The new parents said they are “just praying” that their babies will be safe.

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