Former Telford College student Rob Ford has revealed how he can hear the “constant roar and boom of missiles” from the war in Ukraine.
Miner’s son Rob studied history, politics, law and economics at the college from 1989 to 1991 and is now director of the Heritage International School in Moldova’s capital city Chisinau.
“My colleagues and students were travelling to school, like countless others everywhere, only to suddenly hear the constant roar and boom of missiles over the border from us in Moldova, crashing around the ancient Black Sea port of Odesa in Ukraine,” Rob writes.
“My colleagues at Heritage International School were calling, messaging, seeking news, and at the same time, they were terrified by the news and images across social media showing the most unreal and unbelievable scenes from across Ukraine as the unthinkable finally happened.”
Rob, who was raised in Madeley, said there had been reports of the Russian army in the breakaway territory of Transnistria, in the east of Moldova. But those turned out to be incorrect.
He praised the government and leadership of Moldova, under President Maia Sandu, who he said moved very quickly to reassure everyone and to ‘prevent the panic that was already gripping our small country’.
Moldova is a tiny country which lies between Romania, and Russian-controlled Transnistria and Ukraine. It had been part of the former Soviet Union until the communist bloc was dissolved in 1991.
Rob believes the Ukraine war will join 9/11 and the 9th November 1989 in future school textbooks as a moment when history was changed forever by a single event.
He knows people working in schools in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv and how they were moving people to safety.
And in Moldova he said: “Our international staff are frightened to be caught in someone else’s conflict in a part of the world so far from home and with no way of getting out.
“Our local staff are full of fear and sorrow, many have families in the war zones of Ukraine, and some have historical and cultural ties to Russia.”