When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 this year, it plunged the country and those who lived there into great uncertainty.
Among those scampering to safety were Trinidad and Tobago national Mark Anthony Sheppard and his Ukrainian wife.
But now, Sheppard is back home and safe in the arms of his family.
“My parents, my family was ecstatic to see me, they were all worried,” he said.
Sheppard paid a courtesy visit to Minister of Foreign and Caricom Affairs Dr Amery Browne on Wednesday, having returned to this country on June 24.
He said the ministry played a great role in getting him out of danger.
“The greatest joy for us is the fact that our brother, our national, is back home here in Trinidad and Tobago safe and sound,” Dr Browne said.
Speaking with Guardian Media, Sheppard explained that when the bombing began, “we (him and his wife) heard everything loud and clear for the first two days, so we were continuously going to the bomb shelter when the sirens were on.”
He said in the first week of the invasion, getting food, water, electricity and internet was not an issue but, ”there was a shortage of gas.”
He added that after being in lockdown for about three days, he and his wife braved the war-like conditions and made it to West Ukraine, where they rented a car and drove to neighbouring Hungary.
It took them six hours to cross the border.
But leaving was not an easy decision.
“I did not want to take her away from her family because her parents are still in Ukraine,” he added.
While in Hungary, with the help of T&T officials, he received the relevant documentation which allowed him to leave and return to the land of his birth.
“It really put me in a little bit of ease you know, that my home country, my birth country, was behind me and supporting me,” Sheppard said.
But Sheppard’s Ukrainian story, however, is not over as his wife is still in Hungary working and staying close to her family.
For him, the tough decision he would have to make is when does he return to his wife and what is he going to do to keep her safe, as it is unclear how long the Russians will continue their onslaught against the people of Ukraine.