“The wise choice now is to leave Ukraine”: At the Borisbil airport in Kiev, Moroccan businessman Imran Poussian consults a group of planes departing with relief: it is being maintained.
The situation at the airport is calm, passengers enjoy coffee and dessert while waiting for the flight, but the environment is not relaxed.
The Ukrainian government has promised to keep the airspace open, but the Dutch company KLM has already suspended all flights the day before. With 130,000 Russian troops concentrated on the Ukrainian border, the Americans warn that an invasion could take place “without warning at any time”, while Germany views the situation as “critical”.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said on Sunday that the crisis was “smelling of Munich in the air”, referring to the 1938 agreement with Nazi Germany that prevented World War II.
“Yeah, I’m leaving because of circumstances, I’m afraid for my life,” says 23-year-old Imran Poussian. “What can happen? An invasion. (Russian President Vladimir Putin) may invade. He has done it before, so he can do it again.
Denise Lucins, the American football coach, ignored Washington’s suggestions and returned from the United States to find his wife and 7 – year – old son living in Mykolayiv, south of Ukraine.
“There is a certain level of concern. But you know, I lived here in 2014, saw the annexation of the Crimea, the conflict in the Donbass. We will wait and see what happens. In my hometown, Mykolive, we hope that nothing bad will happen,” he said.
US President Joe Biden is being treated with extreme caution, including by Ukrainian officials, who believe Denise Lucins’ strategy is good. “He was right when he said a few months ago, ‘Wait, but there are 100,000 Russian troops on the border.’ I think it’s good that the United States said, ‘You can not invade.’
“Personally, I do not think anything will happen, but unfortunately no one can read the mind of Vladimir Putin.”
For Armenian traveler Armen Vardanian, 36, Kiev has nothing to fear.
“I think Putin can take a little more from the east,” the Ukrainian military has been fighting pro-Russian separatists since 2014 with the support of Moscow, which controls part of the Donetsk and Lugansk areas on the Donbass coal bed.
“Donbass, yes, it’s already divided, they use the ruble, Russian troops already exist. (Putin) can take it,” said Mr. Vardhanyan. But “Russian troops in Kiev?” No, I don’t think that will happen. This will be World War III, and much more.
Boryspil Airport Communications Manager Olexander Demchyk promises. “It simply came to our notice then. It was very tense, but we felt no panic. I think everything will be fine. “