Former York postman John Darvill, who fled from Kharkiv with his Ukrainian wife Yuliia a year ago when the Russians invaded, has spoken of his longing to return.

"We want to go back," said John, who is currently staying in Harrogate. "Our life is there. Everything we own, all our clothes, our whole life, is there."

But he said that he didn't know when it would be possible. "There is no sign of the war ending," he said. And until it does, friends in Ukraine have warned him against returning.

"A friend told me 'You're English: if the Russians got hold of you, they would kill you - after torturing you."

John, Yuliia and John's mother-in-law mother Olga fled Kharkiv and spent a week hiding out in a tiny village near the city, where they have a small house, following the invasion a year ago today.

Then fighting spread to the fields just outside their village. John posted a terse message on Facebook: "Damn they are in the field. Hope this stops soon - 100 yards away."

John Messengered his daughter Ruby, who lives in York - and she could hear the shooting in the fields outside.

With food running out John, Yuliia and Olga drove 800 miles across the width of Ukraine to safety in Poland.

Since then Olga has been living in Posnan, Poland, near her grandson, while John and Yuliia have divided their time between Poland and Harrogate, where John's mum lives.

They've been surviving on Olga's pension, and whatever John can earn from occasional cheffing jobs and giving online English lessons - a job he did in Ukraine. Yuliia, who is a doctor and ENT specialist in Ukraine, is not allowed to practice in Poland or the UK.

The couple have only been back to Ukraine once since the invasion - to Lviv near the Polish border, where they had to sign documents to prove that, as the owners of a flat in Kharkiv and a village house, they were still alive.

Friends in Ukraine have told him that Kharkiv, which was in the front line of the war in the weeks following the invasion, has been bombed virtually every day for the last year. But at least their village house and their flat in Kharkiv are still OK - though a building near the flat was bombed.

Living in 'exile' has put huge strain on both of them.

John says that at one point, while they were in England, Yuliia came close to having a breakdown. She has now returned to Poland to be near her mother and son - but still can't work, John said.

John himself is currently in Harrogate: his mum, who has Alzheimer's, has had to go into care and he is 'sorting out the house', he said.

He's doing a few cheffing shifts to make ends meet - but plans to return to Poland in the next couple of weeks to be with his wife.

As to the future - he just wants the war to end. But he's not sure what the UK and other members of the international community can do to make sure that happens.

"I don't know what more we can do without causing World War III," he said. "There's a psychopath in Russia. I don't think even he knows what he's going to do next."