Expats in Kiev staying put but worried and angry

Published:  20 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: USA, UK, Citizenship, England
As the world hangs on Putin’s every word, expats in the Ukraine’s capital city of Kiev are shocked and angry, but none are making plans to leave.

Expats living and working in Kiev joined a major protest march yesterday in support of democracy amid widespread fury over what is being seen as Russia’s military invasion the Crimea. British expats told the media that the entire community is enraged at Putin’s actions, and is 100 per cent in support of the country’s new government.

However, the concern amongst the foreign community in the city can be felt, with many fearing waking up and finding Russian militia on the streets. According to one Brit, married to a Ukrainian and with a young son, the Russian army could arrive in Kiev within 12 hours.

Even so, he added, no-one is heading for the border as yet, and the situation in the city is as calm as could be expected. Life at present, he said, is going on as normal, and a sense of unity ibetween Ukrainians and expats is emerging, even although Ukrainian reservists are being called up for army service.

The vast majority of expats in the city are either married or engaged to Ukrainian nationals, and everyone knows someone who’s been conscripted. A number of expats have already written to their home governments in protest, and all are in favour of a democratic, Western-leaning Ukraine.

Others are saying it’s time to get a strong message to the EU and USa, as everyone previously assumed that military invasions didn’t happen in the 21st century. Many are publicly criticising the statement by the Russians that they are ‘protecting Russian citizens’, demanding to know whether Putin considers they need protection from democracy.
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