Its a hot zone! British expat stuck in Ukraine as UK Embassy closure huge obstacle
Ukraine: Brit expat and partner stick in country for now
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British expat Thomas Jones has blasted efforts to allow UK nationals and their families to leave Ukraine, as his own Ukrainian wife cannot safely leave the conflict-threatened country. Mr Jones explained how the closure of embassies in Kiev has forced Britons into potentially dangerous journeys into the “hot zone” if a war between Russia and Ukraine breaks out.
Mr Jones told GB News: “It’s easy for me to go I could leave within the next hour.
“The process of getting her the documentation and the visa takes some time.
“It’s not easy for her to get these documents. I think there will be fast-tracked, the fee has been waived very nicely by the Home Secretary.
“But logistically and bureaucratically, it’s not that easy.”
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He added: “As you may know, most of the embassies American, US and maybe others have moved from Kiev to Lviv.
“Now for me to take my wife to get to present her documents to an agency which is I suppose it’s outsourced by the Immigration Office, we have to go to Kiev.
“Now Kiev is going to be a hot zone if war happens.
“What I don’t understand is why we would have to put ourselves in danger’s way or you know, cut ourselves short to go to Kiev, when the embassy is in Lviv.”
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Mr Jones continued: “It’s a six-hour train or, you know, a seven-hour drive from Lviv.
“It’s not just me, it’s other people around the country, other Britons in the country are much further away, and for them to leave their homes to go to Kiev to submit documents in this moment it’s not too good.”
Western fears about an invasion have become more pronounced in the past week, with US President Joe Biden stating on Friday he is “convinced” Mr Putin is preparing to order troops into Ukraine within days.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned that a Russian incursion across the border into Ukraine “could be the biggest war in Europe” since the Second World War, with casualties on both sides.
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The Prime Minister, told a security conference in Munich on Saturday, that it appeared the Kremlin’s plan for an offensive had “already in some senses begun”, pointing to the escalation of violence in Russian-backed separatist-held areas in eastern Ukraine.
Belarus and Russia have since announced that the two countries will extend joint military exercises, which had been due to end on Sunday, in a move that is likely to create further unease.
Western analysts fear the displays are a further indication that Russia, which also conducting naval drills off the coast of the Black Sea, is gearing up for an offensive.
But a Russian diplomat said “our drills on our territory should not worry anyone”, and accused the West of creating an “artificial crisis” in Ukraine.
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