Robert Rinder Shares Plans To Help His Strictly Partner's Grandparents Flee Ukraine

The Judge Rinder star performed with Oksana Platero on the 2016 series of Strictly Come Dancing.
Oksana Platero and Robert Rinder performing on the 2017 Strictly tour
Oksana Platero and Robert Rinder performing on the 2017 Strictly tour
Dave J Hogan via Getty Images

Judge Rinder star Robert Rinder has shared his intention to help his former Strictly Come Dancing partner Oksana Platero’s grandparents flee the war in Ukraine.

The TV personality and barrister competed on Strictly in 2016, during which time he was partnered with Ukrainian-born professional Oksana.

Posting on Twitter on Wednesday evening, Rob told his followers that he’d be travelling to Poland in the coming days in an attempt to help Oksana’s grandparents leave Ukraine.

“Oksana Platero, my Ukrainian dance partner on [Strictly] gifted me so much,” he explained. “Right now her grandparents are a week into their struggle to find sanctuary in a safe country. I’ll be trying to meet them on the border next week.

“They’re just a few of the millions who need us.”

He later added: “Depends on where they make it to but I’ll be at the Polish border from Monday… if they cross into Hungary the next step will be getting them to safety with their family.”

Rob and Oksana made it to fifth place during their series of Strictly, with the professional dancer not returning in following years.

A Gofundme page set up by Oksana to help raise money for her family members has already raised more than double its target of $5,000 (around £3,800).

“As you already know, many families are going through such hardship with the war in Ukraine,” she said. “My family and my cousin Kateryna Klishyna’s family are escaping and close to the border. My mother, my 10-year-old brother, and Kateryna’s sister, left their home the morning of March 2nd and arrived to safety March 6th.

“As you can imagine, the journey there was brutal but all that matters is that they made it, and they are safe. We are forever grateful to still have them as there are so many who can’t say the same.

“The rest of our family which include our three grandparents, two [of whom] are not able to walk, and Kateryna’s mum and dad, are still in danger as they are currently still trying to escape. We are praying that they will make it out of Ukraine and into safety soon.”

“What’s next is for them is unclear, unpredictable, and terrifying,” she added.

Oksana is not the only Strictly alum to have family affected by the current crisis in Ukraine, with recent addition Nikita Kuzmin voicing his fears for his own grandmother in an interview last week.

Nikita Kuzmin with his celebrity dance partner Tilly Ramsay
Nikita Kuzmin with his celebrity dance partner Tilly Ramsay
Guy Levy via PA Media

“Luckily, we still have a connection to her, so we are video calling her all the time,” he told Lorraine Kelly.

“She’s actually trying to protect us from being scared. Every time we can hear gunshots or explosions in the background, she’s always telling us that it’s a movie that she’s put on TV. Only afterwards, a couple of hours later, she’ll confess that actually it’s a real bomb, real gun shots.”

“It’s incredibly scary,” he added.

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