When Maryna and Vadym Korolov sought refuge from the War in Ukraine they found a warm welcome here in our area. Since coming to Wales they have dedicated themselves to raising money for medicine and other vital necessities for those Ukrainians back home affected by the conflict.
Maryna was heavily pregnant when the Russian invasion began on February 24th 2022 and she gave birth to daughter Emmanuella in an air-raid shelter. Through the help of a British acquaintance with connections in Powys the couple and their three children y left their Kiev home taking with them only what they could gather in a matter of minutes.
Maryna was brought up in Donetsk, the city founded by John Hughes of Merthyr Tydfil, but the annexation of the Donbas region in 2014, drove her to move to Lviv and finally to Kiev. For this reason the couple’s three children were each born in different cities.
In the last year the family have become popular newcomers as they sell hand decorated items at their stall in Abergavenny Market Hall, funds from which go directly to those in need in the Ukraine. Vadym sells freshly squeezed orange juice made to passers-by from his stall outside the Market’s main entrance.
The couple are very proud of their Ukrainian heritage and culture – a fact illustrated by the designs on the objects they sell. Maryna does not price individual items but just ask buyers to donate what they think is appropriate. They have been very touched by the response of their host country.