Ukrainians in Bermuda worry about their families
Ukrainians who work in Bermuda said last night that they feared for their families and friends after Russian leader Vladimir Putin was accused of planning a full-scale invasion of their homeland.
They said that the situation had deteriorated as Russia had ratcheted up the tension in the region.
Anastasiia Humeniuk, who works for Little Venice restaurant in Hamilton and who has been on the island three years, said: “There is no war between the people, it is just the politicians.
“My family is concerned. The prices go up, so they are already starting to feel the economic crisis.”
Viktorya Korshunova, a colleague who has been in Bermuda for six years, added: “I think we are more concerned from outside than they are from inside.
“It’s kind of scary because my family live near the border — 100km. If there is going to be a fight, everybody is going to be part of the fight.
“I guess everybody in the community here in Bermuda is worried about family and friends.
“I just hope that it will not happen.
“We are watching the media, but we don’t really know what to believe.
“You believe more when you are calling back home and asking what’s happening right there.”
There are about 50 Ukrainian nationals on the island.
Ms Korshunova said that she would not return home if a full-scale war broke out, but would try to rescue her family.
She said: “I would like to somehow take them away to a safe place.”
The two said some of their family members had passports ready and bags packed in case they had to flee a Russian invasion.
Tensions heightened after President Putin pledged that Moscow would support the independence claims of its proxy states in the east of Ukraine.
Joe Biden, the US president, who has warned of a likely Russian invasion of Ukraine, announced new sanctions against Moscow.
President Biden said: “Who in the Lord’s name does Putin think gives him the right to declare new so-called countries?
“We still believe that Russia is poised to go much further in launching a massive military attack against Ukraine. I hope I am wrong about that.”
Boris Johnson, the British prime minister, has also unveiled measures designed to hit the Russian economy.
The EU has imposed sanctions and Germany halted the approval process for the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to the country.
Some UK MPs accused Mr Johnson of not going far enough with punitive measures against Russia.