Ukraine: Orphans authorised to come to Scotland after paperwork snag

The 52 children, from Dnipro, were due to fly from Poland to London with carers on Monday.

Orphans evacuated from Ukraine with help of Dnipro Kids can now enter UK after paperwork problems Dnipro Kids
Permission granted: The orphans can now enter the UK.

Orphans evacuated from Ukraine with the help of a Hibs supporters charity have been given permission to enter the UK.

The 52 children, from Dnipro, were due to fly from Poland to London with carers on Monday before heading north of the border later in the week but were held up because of paperwork problems.

Authorisation has now been granted for their entry to the UK, with the children expected to fly to Scotland on Wednesday night.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We have now received full, written authorisation for the 52 children to come to the UK.

“We would like to thank the authorities in Ukraine and Poland for all their hard work to provide permissions as quickly as possible.”

The rescue mission was organised by Dnipro Kids, which was set up following a Hibs European match in Ukraine almost two decades ago.

Some fans presented gifts to local orphanages during their visit in 2005 and were moved to do more following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month.

The city of Dnipro, Ukraine’s fourth-largest, has been hit by intense Russian shelling since the invasion began on February 24.

The Home Office spokesperson added that it was working with Dnipro Kids and the Scottish Government on arrangements to bring the children to the UK, with SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford later confirming the kids would be flying to Scotland on Wednesday night.

Blackford had earlier praised the partnership working to bring the children to Scotland.

He added: “And I hope really over the course of the next 24/48 hours that we can look forward to welcoming these children into Scotland, that we can give them the sanctuary that they need at this time of crisis.

“We can shield them from the war that’s taking place in Ukraine.”

On Wednesday afternoon he then tweeted: “I am absolutely delighted to say the flight we have arranged for the Dnipro Kids will soon depart for Warsaw, to collect them and their carers and bring them all safely to Scotland.

“The return flight will be later this evening and they will then travel straight to Callander.”