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Man who hosted Ukrainian refugee falls in love with her, abandons his wife

The security guard convinced his wife and daughters to house a victim of Putin's invasion

May 24, 2022 1:57pm

Updated: May 24, 2022 3:55pm

An unusual story occurred between the British Tony Garnett and the Ukrainian refugee Sofia Karkadym, who met in the middle of the invasion of Ukraine, where thousands of families are looking for the means to flee the war launched on February 24 by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Garnett, 29, a security guard, suggested to his wife and daughters that they welcome Ukrainian refugees into their home as a way to help those affected by the war.

Garnett's now ex-wife, Lorna, agreed. The security guard then signed up for a government program to house people who have been displaced by the invasion. However, when he noticed that this process was taking too long, he decided to seek out refugees through social media.

"This started with a simple desire to do the right thing and put a roof over the head of someone in need, a man or a woman," Tony Garnett told The Sun.

After Sofiia Karkadym, 22, contacted the security guard via Facebook, she waited in Berlin to process the British visa. In late April and early May, the young woman flew to the U.K. and moved into Garnett's home.

"I speak a little Slovak, and Slovak is not very different from Ukrainian, so I could understand her in her language; that made things worse because Lorna didn't know what we were talking about. Sofia and I would sit and talk, have a drink and watch TV with Ukrainian subtitles, sometimes after Lorna had gone to bed," Garnett told the media outlet.

The connection between Sofia Karkadym and Tony Garnett increased over time, but tension also began to rise in the household. Lorna suspected that the guest and her former partner were having an affair, so she decided to expel her from her home.

At the time of the argument, the guard threatened his ex-wife to leave if the young Ukrainian woman left. "I told Lorna, 'If she leaves, I'm leaving,'" he said.

Making good on his threat, Garnett packed his bags and moved in with Karkadym at her parents' home, abandoning their ten-year relationship and their two daughters.

De acuerdo con The New York Post, Garnett declaró haber sentido una conexión muy fuerte con la joven, tanto así que decidió separarse de su familia e iniciar una nueva vida.

Garnett claimed to have felt a very strong connection with the young woman, so much so that he decided to separate from his family and start a new life, according to The New York Post.

Karkadym said it all happened very spontaneously and that it was not in her plans to fall in love with Garnett, let alone destroy the family that helped her.

Fast-File Reporter

Marielbis Rojas

Marielbis Rojas is a Venezuelan journalist and communications professional with a degree in Social Communication from UCAB. She is a news reporter for ADN America.