Who would have thought that here in the 21st Century we would be witnessing war in Eastern Europe ? I never imagined that we would lose our business, our house and our future in Ukraine as a result of a conflict between two nations who normally co-existed in a friendly way.
During the past year, thousands of Ukrainians have become refugees leaving the war torn Eastern Ukraine. Many of them have found safety in Kyiv and many in far off Lviv in Western Ukraine.
The majority of these people have fled with nothing. Their homes in ruins and livelihoods destroyed, they are starting over again. Some have managed to leave the country and settle in neighbouring Poland. Our hearts go out to those left behind in Donetsk and Lugansk regions who live each day in fear of not knowing what will come next.
Yesterday, according to the Euromaidan Press, specialist from the group 'Mirotvorets' acquired documents claiming to be from the Russian General Staff that confirms Russia's intention to invade and occupy the territories of the whole East of Ukraine right up to the banks of the Dnipro river.
My first thought on seeing this was ''Well there goes our house for good now'' (As our house is situated in Boryspol on the left bank, not too far from the main airport)
But you have to wonder, would Putin be so stupid to do this? Would the Russians invade the whole of the left bank? From a military position they would quickly gain control of the main airport in Kyiv.
I joked many times with our friends that the main reason we bought the house near the airport was to enable a quick get away if required. Many a true word is spoken in jest.
However, I don't want to complain too much. Our business suffered as a result of a collapse in the economy, not any direct military attacks. The economy in Ukraine has suffered far more that what is being reported in the international media or even in the local media. Inflation is understood to be running around 50% already in 2015. Crime is rapidly increasing as more people become desperate to find money to survive. Businesses are collapsing and thousands of people are becoming unemployed on a daily basis. Trying to move any money out of the country is impossible by normal means. Cash has become king again as people don't know what will happen next. The economy has return to mirror old Soviet Union times, where people did not get paid for very long periods of time, but out of desperation they continue to turn up for work everyday as its considered better to have a job than no job, even if they don't get paid. None of this is being reported.
Living in Cyprus is a breath of fresh air compared to survival back in Ukraine. Again, I know that as the holder of a British passport, it allowed me to leave Ukraine and start afresh, an opportunity that is denied to millions of Ukrainians. Moreover, I have recently taken a great interest in the Freedom of Movement Rights of an EU citizen within the territory of the EEA.
Who knows what the future holds?
Here is the link to the article about Russian plans to invade Ukraine.