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Ukrainian refused to leave the war-torn country without her pug

"There was just no way I was going to go without her, no matter what I had to endure."

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Together and safe: Dina Mykhailova (C) with her pug Zeata, her mother Viktoriia Mykhailova (R) and stepdad Bill Wyllie (L).
(Newsquest Scotland via SWNS)

By Sarah Ward and Susan Lochrie via SWNS

A Ukrainian woman who refused to leave the war-torn country without her pet pug has finally been reunited with her family in Scotland.

Dina Mykhailova, 38, refused to leave without her 12-year-old pug Zeata, enduring eight months of hell in Zaporizhzhia, where she continued to work as a university lecturer.

She then traveled thousands of miles across five countries on a bus with Zeata on her lap.

They made it out just in time. On October 1 she arrived in Scotland. The university where she worked was bombed on the day she left.

Law lecturer Dina has now been reunited with her mom Viktoriia, 61, and stepdad Bill Wyllie, 67, in Inverclyde, Scotland.

Her mom Viktoriia said: "Dina was simply unwilling to abandon her dog.

"This meant waiting three months in a warzone after getting the letter to say she could come here.

"Zeata had to receive certain vaccinations and of course, couldn't go on a plane.

"They had to get out of Ukraine on a bus through Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany and then France."

Dina's worried mom had urged her to give up the pug. But Dina stayed and even adopted a homeless dachshund that was roaming the streets with other pedigree dogs that had been abandoned by people fleeing the city.

Dina could only take one pet with her on the perilous journey, so left the dachshund with a neighbor.

Dina Mykhailova refused to leave her war-torn city in Ukraine without her pug Zeata. (Newsquest Scotland via SWNS)

Dina said: "I am just glad to be here now with my family.

"It was terrifying at times trying to get here, but we are safe now and Zeata is settling in as well.

"There was just no way I was going to go without her, no matter what I had to endure."

Her mom was desperate for her to arrive safely.

She said: "I was standing at Central Station in Glasgow at 1 am waiting on her train to arrive.

"It was almost deserted, just us, and when I saw her again it was so emotional."

Days after Dina fled, the Russians stepped up their bombardment of Zaporizhzhia and imposed martial law in the region.

Dina and her mother Pictured Viktoriia. (Newsquest Scotland via SWNS)

Dina is now improving her English at a college.

Her stepdad Bill said: "There was more paperwork for the dog than for Dina.

"The region is three-quarters under Russian occupation.

"It was a relief [when she left] she had no family there and was isolated.

"She can speak some English but not enough to get a job.

"She would like to go back to Ukraine but it is hard to know what the future holds.

"The dog is fine, she's nearly 13.

"She's fit and healthy.

"In the end, it looks like that was the right decision.

"We are glad Dina is here and that she is safe, but she is having to start over.

"She has had to give up her whole life, her job, her home and had to leave her friends behind.

"Her life is in Ukraine, and that is where she should be."

Viktoriia, has already secured a job at a local hospice store and has been helping fellow Ukrainian refugees settle.

She added: "Some of them are now volunteering at the hospice because they want to give something back."

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