Video: a new start in Froðba

15.03.2023 - 12:54
Video: a new start in Froðba
Ukrainian refugees reflect on the first year as refugees in the Faroes
Andry and Iryna Lys and their eight-year-old daughter Yustyna arrive at Vágar Airport two weeks after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Photos: Bjarni Árting Rubeksen

Nine refugees from various parts of Ukraine arrived in Froðba, Suðuroy, on 11 March 2022.

Among them were Andry and Iryna Lys and their eight-year-old daughter Yustyna.

This was two weeks after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, and their lives in the city of Lviv had been turned upside down.

 >> SEE ALSO Suðuroy welcomes nine refugees

On 24 February 2022, Iryna was at home while Andry was at work.


Irina Lys likes her new life in the Faroes, but her country, her family and her friends are constantly in her thoughts

Like many Ukrainians, they were torn between staying or leaving when they heard about the invasion.

All Ukrainian men aged 18-60 were immediately prohibited from leaving their country.

Andry is a lorry driver, and he just happened to be driving a lorry through Poland at the time.


Andry found a job as a lorry driver. He was also a lorry driver in Ukraine

 >> SEE ALSO Refugees applying for family reunification

Iryna and her daughter decided to flee the country the following day, and two weeks later, the three of them they arrived in the Faroes.

“We have now lived here in Froðba for one year, and we are glad to be here,” says Andry.


Yustyna attends the reception class at Tvøroyri school together with the other Ukrainian children

But they think about their family and friends in Ukraine a lot.

“My sister in Ukraine had a son since I left. I try to help her by sending money. The situation in Ukraine is still bad, but the place where my parents live is a bit safer,” says Iryna.

”I call my parents every day to hear how they are doing. Many people have died, and I just really hope this war will end soon so we can return to our family and friends.”


Yustyna has made many new friends at Tvøroyri school

When they arrived in March last year, they hoped they would be able to return home after a month or two.

“More than a year has passed now and nobody can tell when the war will end,” says Andry.

“Maybe we can return to Ukraine. But not as long as there is war. Giving my daughter a good life is what’s most important to me right now.”


Froðba, with Tvøroyri in the background

So, what is it like to suddenly find yourself as a refugee in the Faroes and is this a good place for refugees?

This 37-minute video provides some answers to these questions. (The Ukrainians speak in English, but the narration is in Faroese)


Read the Faroese version of this article here.

More Faroese News in English.

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