A CELEBRATED Ukrainian musician who has made her home in Southampton following the outbreak of war in her homeland has joined the city's Saints Brass. 

Victoria Milevskaya, a member of the all-girl Ukrainian symphonic rock band Symfomania and a drumming teacher, fled to the home of her host family in Rownhams earlier this year with her ten-year-old son Sasha Milevskyi.

She has now joined the hard-grooving street band and performed her first gig at Westquay as part of the Summer of Saints event. 

READ MORE: Ukrainian refugees begin their new life in Southampton

The band, best known for their appearances at St Mary's on match days, were belting out some classic tunes as part of a whole host of Saints related activities, including the chance to win a home and away season ticket and signed match-worn merchandise, as well as meet mascot Sammy Saint. 

Band leader Dan Mar-Molinero said: "Victoria is one of the bravest people I’ve ever met. It’s a terrible situation, she’s just like anyone of us in the band - I couldn’t imagine this happening to any of us so when the opportunity arose to get her involved, it seemed like an easy decision."

The band are helping to find work for Victoria through their networks.

Victoria, who told the Daily Echo her story when she first arrived in the country in April, added: "I enjoyed it so much and I'm so happy I'll be playing with Saints Brass again. They are amazing!"

Daily Echo:

After spending several nights in freezing conditions in the basement of their rehearsal room on the outskirts of the besieged Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, listening to bombs falling nearby, the family decided to join the stampede and make for the Polish border.

They drove the 700km in four days, often getting stuck in traffic jams and stopping at military checkpoints.

Victoria's husband, also Sasha and a fellow musician and sound engineer, left them there and returned to Kyiv where he has been transporting refugees and aid and providing shelter. 

Daily Echo:

Victoria and Sasha then spent two hours walking 9km across the Polish border with just their backpacks and the clothes they were wearing.

They were in Poznan for four weeks before gaining visas and taking a flight from Wroclaw to Bournemouth to start their new life.



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