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Featured Image Credit: @RobbieTinder/ Twitter/ Alamy
British barrister and reality TV host Judge Robert Rinder has pledged to search for his friend's family upon touching down to report in war torn Ukraine.
The 43-year-old and face of courtroom series Judge Rinder has taken to Twitter to announce that he will be flying to Ukraine on Monday, March 14, to broadcast live for talkRadio and write for The Sun.
However, alongside reporting from the border, the criminal barrister has also spoken out about his plans to search for the grandparents of his ex-Strictly Come Dancing partner, Ukrainian Oksana Platero, who he made it to the semi-finals with in 2016.
Quoting from the bishop of Hippo - which is now Annaba, Algeria - and renowned theologian Saint Augustine, Rinder posted a photograph of himself dressed in protective clothing and an armoured vest, with a label reading, 'Press'.
He wrote: "‘The truth is like a lion. You don't have to defend it. Let it loose. It will defend itself.' St Augustine @talkRADIO @NewsUK."
A day earlier, the host took to the platform to explain that his former dance partner Platero's grandparents 'are a week into their struggle to find sanctuary in a safe country'.
Noting how Platero had 'gifted him so much,' he resolved: "I'll be trying to meet them on the border next week. They're just a few of millions who need us."
Oksana Platero my Ukrainian dance partner on @bbcstrictly gifted me so much. Right now her grandparents are a week into their struggle to find sanctuary in a safe country.— Robert Rinder (@RobbieRinder) March 9, 2022
I’ll be trying to meet them on the border next week.
They’re just a few of the millions who need us.@GMB pic.twitter.com/RqYtsB6rts
Platero also shared an emotional post on Instagram, updating followers to where members of her family were on their journey out of Ukraine.
She wrote: "Dear Friends, as you already know, many families are going through such hardship with the war in Ukraine.
"My family and my cousins, @kateryna_klishyna , 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 we know so many who can’t say the same."
However, the dancer explained that her three grandparents and her cousin's parents 'are still in danger and currently still trying to escape', with two of them 'not able to walk'.
She stated: "We are praying that they will make it out of Ukraine and into safety soon.
"What's next is unclear, unpredictable, and terrifying.
"This is where we’d like to ask for any support as they spend their time away from home. They will be in need of accommodations, food, and medical attention for quite some time. We are raising money to send to them and keep them in good hands. Anything you can do to help would be much appreciated."
The dancer signed off the post from herself and cousin, highlighting a Go Fund Me page to 'help with family living situation and medical'.
She concluded: "From the bottom our our hearts we thank you and please keep our family and the rest of Ukraine in your thoughts and prayers."
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information