'Nobody is talking about it': Ukrainian people's fear over Russia conflict

Alexey Burov and Anastasiia Medvedieva are students at the UEA in Norwich and have spoken about tensions in the Ukraine. 

Alexey Burov (left) and Anastasiia Medvedieva (right) are students at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and have spoken about tensions in their home country of the Ukraine. - Credit: Submitted

Far from home and terrified of tensions rising in their country, Ukrainian citizens living in Norwich are in a state of fear. 

It comes after 130,000 Russian troops moved into positions around the Ukrainian border over the past week - with a brief pull back on February 15.

Alexey Burov, 21, is a politics and international development student studying at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Originally from Kyiv, on the northern border with Belarus, Alexey's family back home are tense. 

Alexey has a Russian uncle with family members who have pro-Russian sympathies. 

He himself - as well as his father - are Ukrainian patriots. 

He said: "My family is at least a quarter Russian and another quarter Polish.

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"My grandad is from Mariupol - close to the Crimean occupation zone - and is also very pro-Russian. We have lots of stand-offs at family gatherings."

In his studies Alexey has been surprised about the lack of mentions to the conflict in his field of study.

He said: "I would expect the politics department to be buzzing about this but almost nobody is talking about it."

Alexey isn't sure if he will be able to return home if the conflicts continues.

He said: "I have a flight booked for the Easter holidays, but there is talk about Ukraine's commercial airspace closing.

"Then again, I've read an article that says this is untrue. It's hard to know what to believe.

"I plan to return, but nobody can tell you what that entails. If airspace is closed I'll be forced to stay here."

Anastasiia Medvedieva, 21, is studying psychology at UEA.

She said her parents wanted her to receive the best education abroad, adding: "All my relatives are in Ukraine now. I've been worried for the last few months."

She noted her parents are considering leaving the country if the crisis worsens.

She added: "A lot of people have asked me how I'm doing. I've been trying to talk to people in Norwich about what it's like back home, as well as speaking to Russian people. 

"This stand-off has been going on years. I worry about this situation a lot. I hope it will be alright."