By Alex Glenn • 26 January 2022 • 9:04
British expats in Ukraine have bags packed ready to escape. Tensions are mounting and the UK has already begun to withdraw staff from the embassy.
Brit couple Ben and Alice are living in Ukraine while they wait for their surrogate baby’s passport to come through. Tensions are mounting in the region and the wait for the passport has now become “nerve-wracking.”
Ukraine-based expats are said to be ready to flee and have their bags packed already. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received intelligence suggesting that Russia could attack at any time.
Ben explained that the couple were in Ukraine to help them have a baby. He said: “Ukraine has very different surrogacy laws to the UK which means that it’s much easier to work with an IVF clinic and a surrogacy agency here to have a baby that way… so Ukraine is an international hub of people coming for surrogacy services.
“We’ve always known that it would be a load of paperwork once he was born, for us to bring him home – but obviously, what was going to be a period of potential boredom, waiting in an apartment in Kyiv for two or three months, is now more nerve-racking.
“Unless we can get a passport for Raphael in the conventional way, or if that becomes impossible, the British Embassy get to the point they can give Raphael an emergency passport, we can’t leave – so it is nerve-racking.”
According to Ben, the city feels strange at the moment as no one seems to be panicking yet.
He revealed: “It’s really strange… (it’s) like Oxford Street on a Saturday… except for the snow.
“It looks normal. Looking out the window… it’s buzzing… there’s no evidence of panic buying, there’s no queues anywhere.
“I’ve never been in a country that’s been invaded, I don’t know what that feels like, but it feels bizarre that it could happen (here).”
Another expat explained how the consensus is to have your bags packed ready to escape in case an attack happens. He is mainly worried about cyber-attacks.
The Manchester-based businessman who splits his time between the UK and Ukraine commented: “Finding somewhere you can escape to, so: bag packed, clothing, water, chargers, grab your bag and get west… (that is) the mantra that most people are adopting.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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