ERR in Ukraine: Kyiv is calm

Kyiv, Ukraine in February 2022.
Kyiv, Ukraine in February 2022. Source: Erik Peinar

ERR's correspondents in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv reported the city was calm on Tuesday and normal life is continuing.

"The people of Kyiv are taking the current situation quite calmly because they have lived through years of war, but many have weapons at home and are ready to defend their home and the city themselves," presenter Astrid Kannel said, describing the atmosphere on ETV's current affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Tuesday evening.

Kannel and cameraman Tauno Peit spoke to Ukrainians about their plans should a further invasion of Ukraine takes place, which some intelligence reports have suggested may happen on Wednesday.

"As far as I know, we will take our suitcases and sit in my father's car and drive to the country with our relatives," Eva, a resident of the city, said.

"We will basically do the same thing," her friend Vika added.

Veteran Yevgeny Shevchenko told AK people will die on both sides and "tens of thousands of coffins" will be sent from Ukraine to Russia. He said Ukraine will become to Russia, what Afghanistan was to the Soviet Union.

"There are patriots here, they will fight and destroy the enemy," he said.

Journalist Roman Tsõmbaljuk said: "Cartridges for weapons have sold out in stores, many of my acquaintances have stopped throwing away glass bottles so that they can be turned into Molotovs."

While in 2014 the Ukrainian army was much weaker, the current situation is completely different, Kannel reported.

"At that time it was really difficult to fight. Now the situation has changed dramatically. In eight years we have managed to build a strong modern army," Shevchenko, the veteran, said.

It is thought that if the west had behaved differently and taken a firmer line in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea then things would be different now.

This time NATO countries, such as the U.S., UK, Lithuania and Estonia, have sent reinforcements to Ukraine.

"If they had done the same thing in 2014, there would have been no war and thousands would not have been killed," Tsõmbaljuk said.

Despite intelligence warnings that an invasion may start on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky declared a day of national unity, encouraging people to wave the Ukrainian flag and sing the national anthem.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops and military equipment on the Ukrainian/Russian and Belarusian/Ukrainian border in recent months. Experts fear a further invasion of the country is likely in the coming weeks.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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