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    Life in Kyiv in the shadow of threats of Russian invasion; EU wants to deter Russia with sanctions

    Although no preparations for war can be seen on the streets of Kyiv, city residents interviewed by a PAP reporter agree that the situation is tense. MEPs, who travelled to Ukraine to show solidarity with the country in its “hour of uncertainty”, argue that the EU is ready to apply “unprecedented sanctions” in the event of a Russian invasion.

    The current crisis surrounding Ukraine has been provoked by the actions of Russia, which has amassed troops along the borders with Ukraine. To destabilize its western neighbour, Moscow also uses hybrid attacks, including disinformation and cyberattacks, on Ukrainian government institutions.

     

    Dima, who works in Kyiv as a food delivery man, points to a protest taking place not far away on Independence Square. “It’s all about the money,” he explains. “In turn, we have the Russian military on the border. Our president has just decided to increase the size of the army to 100,000 troops. I may be drafted tomorrow, but I am not afraid because I love my country very much,” he stresses.

     

    Nadia, who lives in Kyiv with her several-year-old daughter, admits that she lives in constant fear. “I worry about myself, about my daughter, about my family. I hear from everywhere that the situation is very serious. I read a lot, about how we should behave when something happens, what to say to our children, what to take with us,” the woman explains. “It stresses me out because I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, and if something happens, what should I do, where should I go with my daughter, where should we run? First of all, I don’t know whether something will happen or not. I feel constant anxiety, I keep thinking about it,” she confesses.

     

    Nadia points out that the people she passes have a plan in case of a Russian invasion, buying various products to stock up on in case they suddenly have to flee Ukraine.

     

    “I have plenty of supplies for an emergency,” she admits. ” I have an emergency case, I have a gas cylinder for cooking, I have a full tank of fuel, so I know I can drive 400 km in case of emergency. I don’t know where I will go yet, but I’m afraid it might be too dangerous in Kyiv if something happens,” she explains.

     

    Katerina met near Maidan, explains that she finds support in her faith in the current situation. “I am not afraid because I love God and he loves me, if you love God you don’t have to be afraid of anything,” she argues. “The situation is bad, it’s true, but if we are afraid, it will be even worse, we have to stay calm and go back to our jobs so that we can develop our economy, our politics and other spheres of our life,” she stresses.

     

    The European Union and several Western countries have pledged support for Ukraine after Russia’s buildup of troops near the Ukrainian border. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki paid a visit to Kyiv on Tuesday. A special delegation from the European Parliament also visited Ukraine this week, declaring that the EU is ready to apply “unprecedented sanctions” in the event of a Russian invasion.

     

    “We are working on very tough sanctions. Discussions on this topic are currently underway in the European Union and with our partners. I won’t go into details, but it will be unprecedented. No military aggression is worth this kind of cost,” the Chairwoman of the Europarliament’s Subcommittee on Security and Defense, Nathalie Loiseau, stressed in an interview with PAP. “Russian society certainly does not feel aggression towards Ukrainians. We also hear that Ukraine does not want war. There is still time to stop this aggressive behaviour and intimidation,” she adds.

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