War paranoia rises amongst Kiev residents

Svitlana Zubritska, a stay-at-home mother to a 12-year-old daughter, says she has always thought of herself as a reasonable person and not inclined to panic.

But earlier this year, for the first time in her life, she found herself packing an emergency kit for her family in case they needed to escape from Kiev.

Although the capital is hundreds of kilometres away from the unrest in parts of Ukraine’s southeast, the conflict there and fears of a possible Russian invasion has had a dramatic impact on many Kiev residents.

Some are suffering mental distress, and are packing bags in case they have to evacuate their homes, while others have bought firearms to protect themselves and their families. Many people say they are putting off plans for travel or major purchases until they can be sure the situation in their country has stabilized.