Ukraine: Londoners share their thoughts on Russia’s invasion
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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has reached its ninth day as Moscow’s forces continue to attack major cities. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of “nuclear terror” following an attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant last night. He said: “We warn everyone that not a single nation ever shelled nuclear power stations. For the first time in the history of humankind, the terrorist state commits nuclear terrorism.” NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said the attacks by Russia on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant – the largest in Europe – highlight the “recklessness” of Putin’s war.
Major cities such as Kharkiv and the capital Kyiv have also come under heavy bombardment.
The war has seen over a million refugees flee the country, and Ukrainian MP Inna Sovsun tells Express.co.uk how she has been impacted by the Russian onslaught.
Ms Sovsun, a member of an opposition party in Ukraine, explained how her son has been taken to the west of the country for safety, but her boyfriend and father have returned to Kyiv to take up arms.
She said: “My family is in different places right now, my nine-year old son was taken to western Ukraine by my ex-husband, the father of my child.
“My dad also took my mum to western Ukraine, and the next day he came back.
“My boyfriend was in the army before, but he has now rejoined. I am in touch with my boyfriend, but I do not know exactly where he is, I get messages just so I know he is alive.
“My dad was in the area near Kyiv, where the biggest battles are. We lost connection with him and he was not responding to phone calls for three days.
“That made me and my mum go a bit crazy because we didn’t know if he was alive. There are Russian tanks in that area. Luckily we now know he is OK, but there is this crazy fear in my heart because I didn’t know if my dad was alive.
“There are so many people who can’t know if their loved ones are alive.
“My situation is like this – I am extremely angry about all of this. I haven’t seen my son for eight days now, he called me several days ago and asked ‘Mum, when shall I see you?’
“That’s when I started crying because I couldn’t answer that question.”
The desperate situation in Ukraine has sparked international condemnation of Russia, especially from Western leaders.
Today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Russia’s war “could now directly threaten the safety of all of Europe”.
As a result, many in Ukraine are calling for the West to increase its support for Ukraine.
Ms Sovsun tells Express.co.uk that NATO allies must continue to support Ukrainian forces, hit Russia with full-scale sanctions, and impose a no-fly zone above Ukraine to protect people from further air bombardment.
But Mr Johnson said yesterday that NATO leaders are not contemplating a no-fly zone as this risks escalation.
He said: “I think for any NATO member to get involved actively in conflict with Russia is a huge step which is not being contemplated by any member.
“This is a time when miscalculation and misunderstanding is all too possible and it’s therefore crucial that we get that message over.
“When it comes to a no-fly zone in the skies above Ukraine, we have to accept the reality that that involves shooting down Russian planes … that’s a very, very big step, it’s simply not on the agenda of any NATO country.
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“We will not fight Russian forces in Ukraine. Our reinforcements like these reinforcements here in Tapa are firmly within the borders of NATO members.”
Ms Sovsun argued that the West needs to intervene now, because Russia won’t stop after invading Ukraine.
She added: “In 1994, we gave up our nuclear weapons – in exchange we got assurances from the UK and the US that our security will be guaranteed.
“That was a written promise from the UK and the US – right now they are breaking that promise.
“Imagine Russia does invade Ukraine fully and take control of the country – that would put Russia on the eastern border of the EU and Poland.
“Putin has already said he doesn’t like Poland, the Baltic countries, Hungary in the EU. He doesn’t like Finland’s neutrality or Sweden’s neutrality.
“Does anyone really believe he will stop with Ukraine? He will go further, and then the West will have to intervene.”
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