Entertainment

Holly Willoughby breaks down as brave student leaves London to ‘fight back’ in Ukraine


Holly Willoughby broke down on the latest episode of her podcast as she discussed the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The This Morning presenter, 41, spoke to brave 19-year-old Ukrainian politics student Valentina Butenko who, up until a few weeks ago, was living and studying in the UK.

Valentina showed unbelievable strength and courage when she chose to fly into the face of the unfolding military attacks in Kyiv to stand with her people.

The brave student left her beloved mother back in the UK as she flew back to Ukraine to be with her father and be there for other Ukrainians who are suffering.

Throughout the duration of the podcast, Valentina explained that she hasn’t slept a wink in weeks after flying back to Ukraine – and with every creek or sound she hears, she fears it’s a bomb.



Holly fought back tears on her podcast
Holly fought back tears on her podcast

The politics student spoke with dignity as she explained to Holly why she choose to go back to her homeland during the crisis.

When asked why she decided to leave London and her beloved mum, Valentina insisted that she needed to be there ‘for her country and her people’.

“The moment this war started, I think my future became very simple for me,” Valentina told.

“My future is about defending my country and rebuilding my country.



Holly said her heart bleeds for Valentina's 'poor mum'
Holly said her heart bleeds for Valentina’s ‘poor mum’

“My identity and what is valuable to me is tied in with these people and this land, and everything I do going forward, it has to be about rebuilding and re-growing Ukraine – because this is where my identity is.

“I don’t see any other path, or I don’t want to see any other path.”

Holly, full of emotion, then asked Valentina about her dear mum who is worried sick about her brave daughter as she watches the horrors of the war unfold on the media from London.

“I can’t stop thinking about your poor mum. Firstly, she must be so proud of you – what an incredible woman you are.

“But she must just want you to come back to London where you’re safe. Does your mum not want you back and safe?”



Holly encouraged Valentina to explain her reasoning for staying in Ukraine
Holly encouraged Valentina to explain her reasoning for staying in Ukraine

Fighting tears, Holly encouraged Valentina to explain her reasoning for staying in Ukraine.

“You know, there always comes this conflict in these times of crisis between what you personally crave and what you want for the ones you love. Of course I miss my mum, of course she wants me to be safe.

“I really deeply miss my mum, but she is also a person who taught me strength and bravery.”

Valentina finished off her inspiring chat by telling Holly that she’s certain Ukrainian people can rebuild their country together again after the horrors of the war in 2022.





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