A Ukrainian refugee mum has described her horror after fleeing the war-town country – only for her son to get stabbed on the streets of Edinburgh.
Iryna Drobysh fled with her family and found refuge in the Scottish capital, but now is terrified to let him outside there either after he was attacked.
Her 13-year-old son Yaroslav was attacked with two of his friends by a gang of boys in Niddrie, a suburb in the south of the city. A 12-year-old has since been arrested in connection with the assault, while Yaroslav was rushed to hospital.
Iryna told EdinburghLive how she thought she had found safety for her family before the horrifying attack.
She said: “I want people to understand we didn’t come here for trouble, we came fleeing the war because we had no other choice.
“We left Ukraine one year ago which was so scary. At the time we thought it would just be a couple of months but now we don’t know when we will get to go home.
“We didn’t know it would last so long. A year after living in Edinburgh we were still afraid of bombs and drone attacks and it was just starting to get better when this happened.
“It was so nice when we came here; I never thought anything like this could happen. I thought Edinburgh was the safest city in the world.”
She added her son is now “scared to go out and play with his friends.”
She also is frightened for him, saying she was “frustrated and afraid because I don’t know how I can protect him.”
Iryna said: “Should I keep him at home all the time? He is a 13-year-old boy. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
The family have found some consolation in the Ukrainian community that has become family to them since the move.
However, the community has also been left horrified by the attack, and shocked that it happened in Edinburgh.
“The community are so shocked, they asked me ‘Here in Edinburgh? That’s impossible!'” the scared mum said. “It has been really difficult but the Ukrainian community are supporting me emotionally.”
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “The 12-year-old who was arrested in connection with assault on Niddrie Mains Road in Edinburgh on Sunday, 3 September has been charged.
“He has been reported to the relevant authorities and further enquiries remain ongoing.”
A Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Spokesperson: “The Procurator Fiscal and the Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration (SCRA) has jointly received a report concerning a 12-year-old child in relation to an alleged incident on 3 September. This matter remains under consideration”.