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[우크라이나 르포] “War has become a reality”… Kiev all over the place

Anticipation of the outbreak of war… ‘Save Ukraine’ flag waving

Although seemingly calm, there is anxiety and tension at the signs of impending war

Young people reveal their determination to “join the war after war”

A citizen of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, interviewed

(KIEV = Yonhap News) Correspondent Kim Seung-wook = Mr. Liza Klitschko is interviewed at Maidan Square in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine on the 18th (local time). 2022. 1. 18. [email protected]

(Kiev[우크라이나]= Yonhap News) Correspondent Kim Seung-wook = Arriving in the capital Kiev on the 18th (local time), the situation surrounding Ukraine quickly turned.

News came urgently that Russia had deployed military forces in the name of training on the Belarusian border on the northern side of Ukraine.

Ukraine now faces Russian tanks on its eastern and northern borders.

The citizens I met in Kiev were all concerned about the Russian invasion.

It was the same with Lisa Klicicco, whom I met at Maidan Square in the city center.

“It looks like a war could really happen. Of course I hope it doesn’t. It’s going to be very destructive and scary.”

Taxi driver Vladimir said, “10 years ago, if someone had asked me if there was going to be a war with Russia, I would have said ‘stupid’, but not now. The war has become a reality.”

The faces of the citizens were also very bad, like the sub-zero weather on that day with a lot of dark clouds.

Maidan Square in the heart of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine
Maidan Square in the heart of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine

(Kiev = Yonhap News) Correspondent Kim Seung-wook = View of Maidan Square in the center of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine on the 18th (local time). 2022. 1. 18 [email protected]

Russia, which annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula by force in 2014, has increased tensions since the end of last year by deploying more than 100,000 troops to the border with Ukraine.

The West, including the United States, believes that Russia can invade Ukraine at any time.

The threat of a Russian invasion in Ukraine is increasingly becoming a reality. There are also signs that an invasion is imminent.

Last week, the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held a series of talks with Russia, but all only confirmed differences in their positions.

Russia has demanded Ukraine’s ban on NATO accession and NATO’s cessation of eastward movement, but the West has drawn the line as unacceptable demands.

The diplomatic window that can prevent war is gradually closing.

Ukraine is now in a position to become a battleground between East and West powers.

Although war was imminent, there were still no hoarding machines or stalls in Kiev’s large supermarkets or markets.

Ukrainian Homeland Defense Forces train for Russian invasion
Ukrainian Homeland Defense Forces train for Russian invasion

KIEV (AFP = Yonhap News) A member of the Homeland Defense Force, an organization of the Ukrainian reserve army, conducts a military exercise near the capital Kiev on December 25 (local time) amid a growing Russian military threat to Ukraine. [email protected]

The bridge over the Dnieper River, which divides Kiev into east and west, was jammed with commuting vehicles as usual.

It is said that the antipathy towards Russia of the citizens of Kiev, who lost Crimea to Russia, has grown exponentially these days.

Anti-Russian rallies are held every day in Kiev’s Maidan Square, like Seoul’s Gwanghwamun Square. This is the center of the Orange Revolution, a pro-democracy movement sparked by fraudulent elections in 2004.

In various places in the square, flags with the words ‘Save Ukraine’ were waving anxiously in the wind.

It seemed to be eloquent in the current situation of Ukraine, which has to live with an authoritarian superpower right next to it.

'Save Ukraine' flag hung on Maidan Square
‘Save Ukraine’ flag hung on Maidan Square

(Kiev = Yonhap News) Correspondent Seung-wook Kim = “Save Ukraine” flag hung on Maidan Square in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine on the 18th (local time). 2022. 1. 18 [email protected]

When asked about the possibility of war to the citizens he met here, the answers ‘War will happen’ and ‘Will not’ were almost divided in half.

Andrei Makaretz, whose father is a Ukrainian soldier, said, “My father also said there would be no war.”

Galina, who did not reveal her surname, said, “There are millions of Russians living in Ukraine. If Russia starts a war, they will all die, but I want to take a look inside my head to see what Putin (Russian president) is thinking.”

Although they want to avoid war, the will of the Kiev youths to risk their lives to protect their homeland if a war actually breaks out seemed clear.

“If there is a war, of course, I will join the war,” Makaretsu said.

Galina said, “We will protect this country. If we obey[Russia]as it is, there is no future for this country,” he asserted, “There can be no compromise on this issue.”

Maidan Square in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine
Maidan Square in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine

(Kiev = Yonhap News) Correspondent Seung-wook Kim = A view of Maidan Square in the center of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. 2022. 1. 18 [email protected]

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