About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections & Clarifications Ethics Code Your Ad Choices
© MEAWW All rights reserved

'The life I knew is shattered': Man leaves partner for Ukrainian woman couple gave REFUGE too

"She set her sights on Anthony from the start, decided she wanted him and she took him. She didn’t care about the devastation that was left behind," said Lorna
UPDATED MAY 22, 2022
Man leaves partner (L) for Ukrainian woman (R) couple gave REFUGE too  (Photo by @sonya_dobrvlsk/Instagram & Facebook)
Man leaves partner (L) for Ukrainian woman (R) couple gave REFUGE too (Photo by @sonya_dobrvlsk/Instagram & Facebook)

After falling in love with a 22-year-old Ukrainian refugee who came to live with them to escape the conflict, a British father of two has abandoned his wife for her. Tony Garnett and his wife Lorna took in Sofiia Karkadym, a Ukrainian refugee at the beginning of May, just 10 days later Tony fled with Sofiia.

He claims in an interview with The Sun that he has fallen in love with the 22-year-old and wishes to spend the rest of his life with her. Sofiia, on the other hand, who left the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, claimed she liked Tony the moment she saw him and that the two are living their own love story. Tony admitted that he has 'discovered a connection with Sofiia like I've never had before,' and that they 'know this is right,' despite knowing that their action would bring pain to Lorna. Sofiia was taken in by the family in an effort to aid Ukrainians escaping the Russian invasion, with Tony telling The Sun that he 'wanted to do the right thing' and that she was the first person to contact him on a Facebook page where he volunteered to home a refugee.


Are Ukrainians turning to sex work in refugee crisis? War triggers trafficking concerns

'This is a disaster': Trump blasts 'incompetent' Kamala Harris and Biden for Ukraine crisis

Sofiia, who was an IT manager, arrived in Manchester on May 4 after weeks in Berlin waiting for her UK visa to be accepted. Tony claimed he and Sofiia hit it off right away. Tony, who speaks Slovakian, could converse with his future fiancée while she spoke Ukrainian and so while his six-year-old and three-year-old kids liked her as well, however, his 10-year-long spouse didn't. Lorna had no idea what they were talking about.


Tony claimed, “We were getting on brilliantly but at that time it was no more than that — although I can see why Lorna started to feel jealous and resentful of her.” Sofiia often joined Tony at the gym and they conversed in his car as the days passed, and they became physically closer at home.  Tony said, “At home, I realized we were finding excuses to touch and brush against each other, it was very flirtatious but nothing more than that happened at that stage. Although it was fairly innocent it was causing arguments. I can understand that. When I got in at night Sofiia would be the one who had made a meal for me to try.”


Tony claims, that Lorna became 'very jealous' as the two became closer, and began to wonder why Sofiia was following him around all the time. “The atmosphere was getting really bad and Sofiia told me she didn't know whether she could continue to live with us under these circumstances. Lorna was never that enthusiastic about having a refugee in our home because it meant the girls had to move into one room,” he added. 

Volunteers wait for refugees from Ukraine to arrive at the main train station on March 1, 2022, in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Hannibal Hanschke/Getty Images)

Things came to a head after an intense argument between the women that left Sofiia in tears and declaring she couldn't live in the same house as Lorna any longer. Tony explained, 'something inside me clicked' and he told Lorna 'If she's going, I'm going'. The pair immediately packed their belongings and moved in with Tony's parents, but they are still looking for a place to live. Tony claims he feels awful and that Lorna is not to blame after their ten-year romance ended in just ten days. He said, “ I am so sorry for what Lorna is going through, this was not her fault and it was not about anything she did wrong. We never set out to do this, it wasn't planned and we didn't mean to hurt anyone.”

Ukrainian refugees from the City of Buchach volunteer at Ukrainian Cultural Centre ‘Dnipro’ sorting out humanitarian aid for compatriots in the UK and Ukraine on March 29, 2022, in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Lorna told The Sun, "I decided it was the right thing to do to put a roof over someone's head and help them when they were in desperate need. And this is how Sofiia has repaid me for giving her a home. She set her sights on Anthony from the start, decided she wanted him and she took him. She didn’t care about the devastation that was left behind. Everything I knew has been turned on its head in the space of two weeks. I don’t know what I’d have done without my friends, who have been here for me every minute since he left. I just don’t understand how he could throw all that away for a woman he’s known for a fortnight. The life I knew is shattered.”

According to BBC data, after fleeing the Russian invasion, more than 53,000 Ukrainians landed in the United Kingdom. Some came on family visas, while others came under a sponsorship program that allows strangers to hosting a person or group. However, some immigrants have been put in inappropriate housing, and some males have been accused of using the sponsorship system to harass vulnerable women.