Putin’s speech was stunning to many, however to not individuals in Kyiv


“It has been like this for 15 years. He has all the time been mendacity. This isn’t diplomacy, it is simply idiocy,” Kyiv resident Nina Vasylenko advised CNN.

Ready for a bus along with her pal and former classmate Ala Bovtun, Vasylenko, who mentioned she was “60+” years outdated, mentioned the actual fact Putin had formally acknowledged two breakaway territories within the Donbas region of japanese Ukraine as impartial makes no distinction.

“The Russian military was there a very long time in the past,” she mentioned.

“Putin doesn’t perceive what democracy and diplomacy are, his thought is: ‘That is mine and I’ve to take it.’ He needs to take Ukraine, that is what he says — ‘My belle,'” Bovtun mentioned, referring to Putin’s crude remark about Ukraine final week.

“However I feel that almost all European nations and the US already knew what was occurring,” she added. “They did not wish to get right into a battle with Russia, they only wished to get the oil and fuel. The slogans about justice, they’re simply slogans.”

Whereas Ukraine’s political leaders responded with robust phrases to the occasions of Monday evening, the response on the streets of Kyiv was extra muted.

A crowd of protesters gathered in entrance of the Russian embassy on Tuesday afternoon, waving Ukrainian flags and posters with anti-Russian messages.

In a park subsequent to European Sq. in Kyiv, an impromptu efficiency by common Ukrainian rock band Okean Elzy attracted a small crowd of individuals. Many joined in and sang alongside the refrain of considered one of their greatest hits: “All the pieces will probably be good.”

Kateryna Cherepanova pictured in central Kyiv on Tuesday, February 22.

Kateryna Cherepanova, a 38-year-old from the Khmelnytskyi area of western Ukraine, mentioned the speech Putin delivered on Monday was “disgusting.”

“It was loopy, however we weren’t shocked, he repeated what he wrote earlier than, his imaginary historical past. I simply hope that Russian individuals had been shocked in the event that they had been listening to him, as a result of it was so loopy, so surreal,” she mentioned.

Cherepanova mentioned Putin’s deal with, as “creepy” because it was, made little distinction to her every day life.

“We have had the warfare for eight years, now it is official,” she added. One factor she is considering although is switching from talking Russian to Ukrainian. Cherepanova grew up talking Russian — as many Ukrainians do. “It is a symbolic factor,” she mentioned.

Cherepanova mentioned she hoped that listening to Putin’s grievance-packed speech would encourage Western nations to ship assist to Ukraine.

People sing the Ukrainian national anthem during a rally in support of Ukraine held during Maidan Revolution commemoration ceremonies on February 20, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

“I feel now is an effective second for [the West] to assist us. Not by phrases, however by actions. However I do not suppose that will probably be one thing extra significant than simply ‘deep issues’ and all that stuff,” she mentioned.

Requested what she’d just like the West to do, she replied: “They’ll invite Ukraine into NATO. Or [the] European Union. Or put actually strict sanctions [on Russia] and cease buying and selling with Russia and block the new gas pipeline,” she added.
Later Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz introduced that he had halted approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline in response to Moscow’s actions in japanese Ukraine.

In a restaurant close to Kyiv’s Saint Sophia Cathedral, Ivan Dymchuk was having fun with a break within the noon solar. He mentioned Putin’s speech had made him a bit extra apprehensive.

“Primarily based on his response to Ukraine performing as a sovereign nation, we will count on something from him,” he mentioned. Dymchuk, 33, has mates within the Vinnytsia area to the west of Kyiv and plans to ship his household there if the capital turns into harmful.

Dymchuk added that he would keep in Kyiv, doing what he mentioned was his obligation as a member of Ukraine’s Territorial Protection Forces, the reserve forces of Ukraine’s army. His unit, like many throughout the nation, has ramped up its coaching in current weeks.

“If something occurs, I’ll keep right here and defend,” he added.

Olga Shevel said the events of recent days have been making her anxious.

Olga Shevel got here to Kyiv early on Tuesday morning from Fastiv, a city 50 miles southwest of the capital.

“We noticed loads of tanks shifting, one after one other, the entire column of army equipment shifting in direction of Kyiv on the Zhytomyr freeway. In order that made me really feel fairly anxious,” she mentioned.

'We are not sure what is going to happen next.' Donbas evacuees face uncertainty in southern Russia

“I’ve two sons and grandchildren, I do not need them to go to warfare,” she mentioned. Shevel mentioned her mom is initially from Russia and so she has relations within the Altai area, close to Russia’s borders with Kazakhstan and Mongolia.

“After which the younger boys are being conscripted they usually do not even know the place they’re going,” she added. “I’ve seen an image of the Russian troopers, very younger boys … someplace in Rostov area in some type of a hut or a tent mendacity on the ground, simply on the tiles, sleeping. As a mom I felt sorry for them,” she mentioned.

Yulia Kesaieva in Kyiv contributed to this report.

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