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Driffield man flees to Ukraine amid fears for fiancee

NDTP Peter Makey ps1412-5
Peter Makey Driffield Pictured By Pam Stanforth ps1412-5

NDTP Peter Makey ps1412-5 Peter Makey Driffield Pictured By Pam Stanforth ps1412-5

A Driffield man travelled 1,500 miles over 26 hours amid fears his fiancee would be shot in the Ukraine by Russian troops.

Fifty-one-year-old architect, Peter Makey of Bridge Street fled to the Ukraine believing his American fiancee of four years, Tina Cintron was in danger of being arrested or killed.

Despite warnings from friends and work colleagues, Mr Makey made the impromptu journey after hearing Americans were being targeted by gunmen.

Mr Makey said: “I really was concerned when I went, I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I just packed up and fled over there to check everything was okay.

“My partner could have been shot - before Yanukovych fell he was blaming the American’s for the problems, we heard rumours that the American’s were being arrested. The American peace core had all left the country.”

Miss Cintron is currently staying in Khmelnytskyi in Western Ukraine with friends whilst waiting for a visa to return to Driffield.

Mr Makey added: “I tried to find out if she could come back to England early but as an American she’s only allowed to come every sixth months but nobody would speak to me at the home office.”

Mr Makey was forced to fly to Krakow in Poland before travelling to the border town of Prezemysl after being told it would not be safe for him to fly into Kiev.

Mr Makey said: “They were advising a ban on travelling to Kiev. It is quicker to go from Luton to Kiev but I was told that I shouldn’t fly into Kiev.

“From Krakow we took a train to Prezemsyl and then a mini-bus to Lviv, the regional capital in Ukraine and then another minibus to Khmelnytskyi.”

The Driffield resident was spurred on to travel to the city after one of the couple’s close friends saw a woman shot dead just three feet in front of her by outside of the building which housed Khmelnytskyi’s Security Service (SBU).

Mr Makey said: “I went over because her best friend, Leiena, saw a woman shot dead at the Khmelnytskyi SBU which is a former SS building. They opened up there and a woman was shot in the neck walking by and there was somebody killed at the back of the building so the residents took a tram and rammed in into the building and fire bombed the building.”

This violent killing prompted Khmelnytskyi residents to de-rail a tram and firebomb the building - an event which led to the disbanding of the police.

Mr Makey also spoke of a surprisingly positive atmosphere in Khmelnytskyi: “It is really strange because there is a really marvellous, happy atmosphere but everyone’s really worried about what’s happening - they are relieved because it’s no longer a police state.

“It’s strange to go into a country on the verge of war to find everybody happy.”

On his arrival Mr Makey found his fiancee and friends waiting for a war to start and met people preparing to fight.

He said: “There was news Russia was going to declare war on the Ukraine when I got there, at four o’clock in the morning and we were all up waiting for a war to start.

“Two or three days after I arrived people where called up for military service and they where expecting to go to war. I met Max, one of Tina’s Buddhist friends, he had been called up because he was a reservist and he told me he expected to die.”

During his visit to the Ukraine, Mr Makey visited barricades in the country’s capital Kiev and even attended a state funeral in Khmelnytskyi.

He said: “They kept playing this song, it’s a national hymn which is really haunting.”

Mr Makey only returned to the UK when he knew his fiancee was safe.

He added: “We found out it is totally safe in the West of the Ukraine, the threat from Russia has brought the country together, people are walking with their heads held high.”

 

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