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Uncertain future for expats in Kiev

British expatriates in Kiev are contemplating what the future may hold amid the current turbulence in the Ukraine.

So far, the majority have stayed put, with no mass exodus of foreigners from the country, but the situation is becoming increasingly tense.

The Russian invasion of Crimea has led to widespread anger, with most expats speaking out for democracy and joining Ukrainians on the streets.

Glyn Thomas from London told the Telegraph: "The mood in Kiev among the expats is that it’s outrageous what the Russians have done."

Expats could be seen among the crowds demonstrating last month, which saw the former president Viktor Yanukovych step down and flee.

Support for the new government is strong, but there is concern in the expat community that they could wake to find the streets occupied by Russian soldiers.

Mr Thomas added: "Even if the Russians do come, they are calling up the reservists for the Ukrainian army. All of us expats are either married to, or engaged to, or going out with a Ukrainian. Everybody knows someone who’s been called up to fight. It's really building up a sense of unity."

The expats are standing side-by-side with the Ukrainians and have even written to MPs back in the UK to garner support for a democratic country.

They are also being proactive with expat groups ensuring that all those in the community know of events and how they can get involved. Social media sites are proving important in the organisation.

Peter Dickinson, who is involved in English-language media in Ukraine, told the news provider: "Right now, there's a sense of solidarity between the expats and the Ukrainians, and a sense of needing to get the message out."

The overwhelming response to the invasion of Crimea is shock, as most people in Ukraine did not think that such a situation would occur or happen so quickly if it did.

While things remain fairly contained in Crimea, Brits are likely to stay put in Kiev, but if Russia pushes further, expats will have to make some difficult decisions.

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