The Ukrainians Living in British Spare Rooms

The Ukrainians Living in British Spare Rooms
July 2, 2022
Article by: Anna Russell
Published in: The New Yorker


One day, shortly after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a seventeen-year-old named Tymur Sabri was visiting his grandmother in a village outside of Kyiv. Tymur is lanky—he loves to play basketball—with messy hair and a deep voice. Before the war, he lived in Kyiv with his parents and an older brother.

His sister Karina, her husband, and their dog, Diamond, lived nearby. In school, he excelled at math and physics, and, like his siblings, he played the piano. His mother, Svitlana, is a professional accompanist. “I was born in Kyiv, and we had everything there,” he told me recently. That afternoon, however, when rockets landed near his grandmother’s house during their visit, the family decided it was time to go. “We picked up our things and just left,” Tymur said.