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Do Ukrainians expect real war between Russia and Ukraine?

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Sample photo / Defense Ministry of Belarus

The situation on the border between Ukraine and Russia has been heating up for months. The first one is stockpiling weapons and instructing people how to act in case of an attack. The second one is bringing equipment and troops closer to Ukraine. Euroradio asked Ukrainians if they thought there would be a war between Russia and Ukraine and what they would do in this case. 

Marya Paschanka: "If it gets really tough, I'll leave right away"

"To be honest, I'm not much interested in politics. Maybe that's why all these newsletters with maps of bomb shelters, instructions on how to act in case of a Russian attack, and things like that really scare me. All the time, there are news reports that Putin is pulling troops and equipment closer to our border and that weapons are being brought to Ukraine. This looks like preparation for war. 

Moreover, this whole conflict is not even entirely Ukrainian-Russian. It is also of interest to third parties like the United States European Union. And even if neither Ukraine nor Russia takes any active steps, someone else can add fuel to the fire. 

I have been thinking about moving to Poland for a long time, and I even learned the language. So, if it gets really tough, I will leave right away, especially since I don't even need to move my parents anywhere. They already live abroad".

Vladimir Petrovich: "I don't expect open aggression with the bombing, shooting, and other things

"I think that what is happening between Russia and Ukraine is already a war. Right now, you don't need tanks or planes to break up a country. You don't need to shoot and kill someone. It is enough to create the appearance of a threat of an open conflict and stir up the situation and inflame it in the media. 

Because of all this hysteria, the economy suffers greatly not only in Ukraine but also in Russia. Russia simply has more margin of safety: there is free access to energy resources, and the national debt is small enough. Everything is not so rosy in Ukraine, so without the help of the European Union and America, we will die much faster. 

Weapon rattling on the border leads to higher inflation, a drop in the hryvnia, an outflow of foreign investors, and the like. No one knows when the situation will defuse. It could last months or even years. One can only speculate how much worse the lives of Ukrainians will be in this case. 

I don't expect open aggression with the bombing, shooting, etc. Because the Russian government is not that stupid. There is no logic in this because both the EU and the U.S. will impose tough sanctions against Russia in the case of war with Ukraine. But if all of a sudden there are some active actions, I will do everything I can to get my children and grandchildren out of the country. Probably, I'll leave, too".

Alexei Serkutan: "The question is whether the Kremlin is rational at all."

"The grouping on the border with Ukraine is now many times larger than during the hottest phases of the conflict, but the Ukrainian army has changed a lot. It is not ready for large-scale maneuver warfare. In a positional war, however, it feels confident. The pro-Russian part of the population in the east is passive and will not provide significant support to the occupiers in the event of direct intervention. On the other hand, the pro-Ukrainian part is ready for fierce resistance. 

From a rational point of view, Russia will not get anything good out of an attempt to "bite off" new territories. The whole question is whether the Kremlin is rational at all. Most public statements by Russian officials are detached from reality and balance on the verge of manipulation and outright schizophrenia".

Andriy Shevchenko: "Satellite pictures of the troops on the border and military equipment do not make me optimistic

"I have a double opinion on this matter. If you think logically, no one is interested in an armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine. It is very costly, undermines the economy, entails sanctions and other troubles. In fact, it is more of a Russia-NATO thing than a Ukraine thing. As far as I understand, Russia wants to change the security regime in Europe and have more power there. 

And it seems to me that keeping people in limbo, as it is happening now, is much more effective than launching an open attack. Maybe this is Russia's tactic.

On the other hand, anything can happen because there is not much logic in the world at all, especially when it comes to politics. An excellent example of this is what's going on in Belarus. An absolutely irrational picture, but nevertheless, this whole system works so far.  

Satellite images with troops on the border, military equipment, and so on do not make me personally optimistic. Of course, I will not panic, pack my things, and leave right now. But if the situation worsens, I will think about it".

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