HomeWorld NewsSir Rod Steward hailed as 'great hero' by Ukrainian family he saved
Sir Rod Steward hailed as 'great hero' by Ukrainian family he saved
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Sir Rod is a very great man’: Father of Ukrainian refugee family who were housed in Berkshire by singing legend hails him as ‘a great hero’ – and reveals he plays Stewart’s music in the house EVERY day
Family of Ukrainian refugees saved from war-torn home by Sir Rod Stewart
Rostyslav Kurtiak, 49, says his family owe their lives to the famed rocker
Sir Rod found them a home in leafy Berkshire and pledged to pay their rent
Rostyslav hailed Sir Rod ‘a great hero’ and plays his music round the clock
A family of Ukrainian refugees played Sir Rod Stewart’s music in the house every day after the singing legend saved them from war-torn Ukraine.
Grateful dad Rostyslav Kurtiak, 49, told how his family owed their lives to the rocker after he found a home for them in a leafy Berkshire town.
Rostyslav’s family of seven are now living in a £500,000 three-storey townhouse and the singer has pledged to pay their rent and bills for at least a year.
Clutching his two-year-old son Dymtro in his arms he told MailOnline: ‘Sir Rod is a very great man. He saved my family from danger.
‘Now my children are safe and are learning in school like normal children.’
The family are settling in to their four-bedroomed home in Bracknell, Berks after moving in in the summer.
A family of Ukrainian refugees told how they played Sir Rod Stewart’s music in the house every day after the singing legend saved them from war-torn Ukraine
Grateful dad Rostyslav Kurtiak, 49, told how his family owed their lives to the rocker after he found a home for them in a leafy Berkshire town
Rostyslav’s family of seven are now living in a £500,000 three-storey townhouse and the singer has pledged to pay their rent and bills for at least a year
Sir Rod, 77, and wife Penny, 51, stepped in after hearing of the plight of Rostyslav, wife Olena and children Taras, 17, Kostya, 16, Roman, 13, Mariia, 10, and Dymtro.
The family, who do not speak English, found themselves homeless and without money after fleeing their homeland.
The singer had already teamed up with family members to rescue refugees after organising three trucks to take 16 refugees back to safety in Berlin.
Rostyslav hailed Sir Rod as ‘a great hero’ and said that in tribute he plays his music round the clock.
He said: ‘Of course I love his music. I always liked it but now I am his biggest fan.
‘I play his music every day, every day! My favourite is Sailing. I love the version he does with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
‘My children love his songs too. We play his music on You Tube. He is a very great singer and a very great man.’
Rostyslav also likes Rhythm of My Heart – which Sir Rod said he wrote about the Vietnam War but said he would dedicate to Ukrainians on his upcoming tour.
Sir Rod, 77, and wife Penny, 51, stepped in after hearing of the plight of Rostyslav, wife Olena and children Taras, 17, Kostya, 16, Roman, 13, Mariia, 10, and Dymtro
Singer-songwriter Rod Stewart (pictured) has put up a Ukrainian family of seven and promised to pay their rent and bills for a year
The family’s home was built in 2005 and features a top floor master bedroom with an ensuite bathroom.
There is a large family kitchen downstairs and a fenced off garden at the back.
Rostyslav said: ‘When we first moved in we did not know about Sir Rod.
‘When we found out and it was such a shock. He came round to visit us last week.
‘It was a great surprise. He had tea and ate sweets and we went in the garden.’
Rostyslav said he had previously worked in the legal profession as well as as an electrician and in computers and photography.
The dad, who said he is hoping to find work once he has settled in and improves his language skills, added of Sir Rod: ‘He has done so much for our country saving children every day.
‘Winter is coming and it is going to be a very difficult time for my people.’
Sir Rod said he wanted to use his ‘power’ as a knight to help others.
He told the Daily Mirror of the moment he met the family for the first time.
He said: ‘I walked through the door and they all came running down the stairs, all beautifully dressed in Ukrainian national costume.
‘It was so lovely that they all made that effort. They made me a cup of tea and we had loads of biscuits and chocolates, although the baby kept nicking all of mine. It really was wonderful.’
Rostyslav said he had previously worked in the legal profession as well as as an electrician and in computers and photography
Rescue workers inspect a building destroyed by Russian drone strikes as they continue their field work in Kyiv on October 18
He added of the visit: ‘I think they had been briefed before they met me as to who I was – and they certainly know who I am now, since I left about 500 CDs for them.’
Neighbours told of their surprise after hearing the family owed their new home to the singer.
One said: ‘We knew they lived there but had no idea who was behind it. We didn’t know who had set them up.
‘They keep themselves to themselves. We see them walking their kids to school. The parents don’t speak English.
‘The house had been empty for quite a while. The people who owned it struggled to sell it and they put it on the rental market.
‘It had been empty for quite a long time. It’s good that he’s come along and there are people living in there otherwise it would be unoccupied.’
Another woman neighbour said; ‘It’s such a nice thing to do.
‘It’s lovely to get your house paid for and you don’t have to worry about your gas and electric bills, especially now when you’ve got five kids. It’s a start for them.
‘It’s nice to see someone famous doing something nice with their money.’
Neighbours said the family ‘seem friendly enough. The kids play out here on bikes. Bracknell is a nice place to live. It’s a new town. There’s lots of schools, good facilities and there are some really lovely places around here’
Russia said Tuesday a ‘technical malfunction’ probably caused a military jet to crash into a block of flats in Yeysk, near Ukraine
The woman added of the family: ‘They seem friendly enough. The kids play out here on bikes. Bracknell is a nice place to live. It’s a new town. There’s lots of schools, good facilities and there are some really lovely places around here.
‘There’s lots of green spaces around and parks. Windsor is just up the road so your not far from Royalty.’
A woman who lives next door said: ‘We haven’t seen Sir Rod unfortunately. I am a fan of his.
‘They moved in the summer over a month or so. It was a gradual move. There was a van that kept coming and dropping off bits and pieces here and there.
‘They’ve done well. Very well. They don’t have a car so you see them walking around. The schools are a little way away.
A factory lies in ruins after being destroyed during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian occupying forces, on October 18
‘It would take you about 20 minutes to walk to the town centre.
‘I spoke to them a couple of weeks ago to ask them if they wanted our two bar stools because we were buying new ones and didn’t know what their furniture situation is like.
‘He said the little one was a bit too young and he was worried he might hurt himself.
‘I had to use the translator on his phone to communicate. I spoke into the phone and it translated.’
Another neighbour added: ‘They have been here two or three months. I always say hello to them. The dad is always friendly.
‘I haven’t seen Rod Stewart but it’s a really nice thing to have done.’