Oksana Fedorovych, a Ukrainian woman living in Douglas, has told the Manx Independent her thoughts on the war unfolding in her home country.
Oksana said: ’My family and friends who live there, they are very, very worried.
’My mum doesn’t want to leave her home, she wants to stay and defend the village.’
Oksana’s family live in the western part of the country, near to the border with Poland.
She told us that while the west is still much safer than Kyiv or the east, her family are saying that ’the situation has now become more dangerous’.
She said that she was shocked at the news of the invasion, adding ’it’s very difficult for me because I’m living long-distance from my family in Ukraine.
’So I’m going a little bit crazy, I’m always checking the news, thinking whether there’s something I can do to help or support them.
’I just have to be strong, and hopeful for a good future for Ukraine.’
Asked how she felt when she saw the news of the invasion last Thursday, Oksana told the Independent: ’’It was a big shock for me, a big shock for all of Ukraine.’
Oksana explained that while Ukranians in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk had been used to fighting since 2014 (which also saw the Russian invasion of the Crimea), the announcement of a full-scale invasion by regular Russian forces came as a particular shock to those in the west.
She continued: ’Many women and children are now moving to Poland or Romania, because they’re very scared for their children.
’Men stay, and leave their villages to go and defend territory - defending all day and night.’
Asked how what she thinks the outcome of the war will be, Oksana said: ’I don’t know, because Putin is a crazy person.
’I don’t know what we can expect from him.’
’But I really, really hope that the Ukrainian army will stay and fight until the last soldier, because it’s true how strong they are.
’Lots of men have joined have already joined the army to defend their land, and others have been forming up into groups.
’People must stand together and fight, because this [war] is bigger than any one person.’
Oksana continued: ’I thank everybody who has supported me in the Isle of Man, who has messaged me and asked how they can help.
’I see how people in the island are making donations, or collecting supplies, and I am really, really amazed by it.
’It’s a big deal for Ukrainians to know how many people in the world are supporting them, it makes them stronger.’
’We will get victory, I am sure.’
Oksana previously lived in Lviv, the biggest city in the west - where several countries relocated their embassy staff for safety during the conflict.
She moved to the island in 2017, with her husband who came here for work. ’I love the island, it’s an amazing, beautiful place - and a very safe place,’ she said.