Strictly Come Dancing star finds Ukrainian partner’s family in Poland

A Ukrainian member of the Strictly Come Dancing troupe has expressed her thanks and “limitless” love for her former celebrity partner after he tracked down her family in Poland after a seven-day journey to flee Russia’s invasion.

Robert Rinder, 43, a barrister and broadcaster, has been posting social media updates from eastern Europe on his quest to find the family of Oksana Platero, his partner on the show 在 2016. Platero, 33, has been unable to travel herself due to work commitments in the US.

On Wednesday Rinder revealed that he and his fixers had found Platero’s grandparents, one of whom has Parkinson’s, and aunt safe in Tuchow in south-east Poland after crossing Ukraine’s western border.

Writing on 推特Instagram beneath a photo of him hugging Platero’s grandmother, 他说: “Oksana’s family: Auntie Lidya and Grandma Zoya. We managed to reach them this morning with a wheelchair & some medical supplies. Despite having nearly nothing, they are ‘grateful for everything’.”

Platero responded on Instagram by writing: “I can’t say thank you enough to my wonderful SCD partner @robrinder and his team for being there for my family and so many others. You are a truly remarkable man and my love for you is limitless.”

Speaking to TalkRadio from Tuchow, Rinder said: “They’ve welcomed us with loving arms to this tiny place that they’re found shelter in. There are her two grandparents in one small room, Zoya and Vasiliy. Vasiliy has Parkinson’s – he’s barely able to get out of bed. Zoya greeted us all like a loving grandmother.”

他加了: “It really drives into sharp focus what happens when you need to leave your home suddenly. They left without a wheelchair … without basic things required for people’s human dignity that you need if you’re disabled. They journeyed for seven days, sometimes without water, fleeing shelling to arrive here.”

Rinder said he and his team had bought Platero’s family a wheelchair and medical supplies soon after they met them. “I have to tell you it’s a pretty rough journey to get here. But boy, are they resolute. They are going to stay here until they can go back to Ukraine, which they say they hope is very, very soon.”

Rinder was recently made an MBE for services to Holocaust education and awareness, 后 exploring the stories of Jewish families in a BBC series and speaking regularly at schools alongside survivors.