‘Going about their lives!’ Reporter reveals how Ukrainians are really feeling about Russia

Kyiv reporter reveals how Ukrainians really feel about Russia

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Mathias Boelinger, Kiev correspondent for Germany’s Deutsche Welle news, said the feeling on the ground amongst the public is not one of panic but in fact calm, with people “getting on with their lives”. The comments come as the international community fears an imminent invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, with up to 200,000 troops surrounding the country. 

Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday, Mr Boelinger said: “Of course, people were seeing this and people are scared of this.

“And many people have made some kind of preparations, be it a suitcase prepared or stockpiling some food, cash, in case they needed to flee.”

But he stressed how on the other hand, international observers need to remember the war in the Donbas war in eastern Ukraine has been going on for years.

As a result, he argued how the latest escalation, though bigger than previous ones from Russia, “have been part of Putin’s tactics for eights years”.

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He explained: “So people also have a wait and see attitude: be prepared but not need to be too scared, not panic, if something like that happens.”

The German even noted how looking around the streets in the Ukrainian capital “life goes on, you don’t see people hurrying trying to buy the last bit of bread or rice” as he assured viewers the situation is not quite what it seems.

Mr Boelinger stressed: “You see people going about their lives, observing the situation, being careful, being prepared, but still with a careful optimism.”

Following the moving of thousands troops from the border following military exercises in Belarus, with more planned for February 20, Dmytro Kuleba, the Ukrainian foreign minister, said: “We and our allies have managed to prevent Russia from any further escalation.”

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He also claimed the removal of troops is proof that “diplomacy is continuing to work.”

In response to the latest news, Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman claimed: “Western war propaganda failed”.

She took to social media, slamming. “It was humiliated and destroyed without a shot being fired.”

It comes as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden insisted on Monday there was still a “window for diplomacy” to avoid all-out war with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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But Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, insisted on Tuesday that Russia is defiant and will continue to deploy troops around Ukraine as and when they wish, despite calls for calm, 

He slammed: “Russia has conducted and will continue to conduct exercises throughout the territory of the Russian Federation. This is an ongoing process, as in all countries of the world.

“It is our right to conduct exercises at home, on the territory where we deem it appropriate, and it is not subject to discussion with anyone.”

Up to 200,000 troops and machinery are now estimated to have surrounded Ukraine as the West scrambles for a solution to the crisis.

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