Some of the Ukrainians fleeing war are finding refuge at a hotel on the Ukraine border in Romania, administered by a Maltese man.

Video: Karl Andrew Micallef

speaking to Times of Malta, one refugee said: "One moment you are in the comfort of your own home, the next a bomb blows up your world," one refugee said.

Another described the situation. Onthe 23rd, the fear became more real. At 6.15 am I  picked up my phone. "Friends the war has started. In that moment, I lost control..."

"The Russian soldiers don’t even want to be fighting. They call their mums telling them 'this is not a drill. We’re killing people, we’re destroying cities, we’re destroying a country'."

To help the refugees, Ronald Agius, 74, from Sliema, has been providing free lodging and warm meals at the hotel he administers to the weary women and children that have been flooding out of Ukraine and into neighbouring Romania since war broke out last month.  

He said: “The situation is terrible. They [the Ukrainian people] weren’t prepared for what happened and what is still happening – I knew I had to do something.” 

Before the Russian invasion, the hotel would never dip below 60 per cent capacity. It hosted visiting dignitaries and, on the weekends, Agius says, it would be booked out for weddings and parties.

It is now offering refugees a home.

How to donate

By cheque to SOS Malta, 10, Triq il-Ward, Santa Venera, SVR 1640.

By SMS on 50616125 (€4.66) or 50619226 (€11.65).

Through bank transfers:

APS account 20000245111 - IBAN MT15APSB7702400427862000024511;

HSBC account 006070932050 - IBAN MT05MMEB44060000000006070932050;

BOV account 40013974950 – IBAN MT51VALL22013000000040013974950.

SOS Malta is collaborating with Romanian NGO Sânge Pentru România.

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