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Bury St Edmunds man’s fear for wife in Ukraine

Barricades in Kiev, Ukraine, courtesy of Robert Archer

Barricades in Kiev, Ukraine, courtesy of Robert Archer

A Bury St Edmunds man is concerned about his wife who is living in the Ukrainian capital, near where people have died in violent clashes between protestors and police.

The sound of explosions and the sight of buses engulfed in flames have given Robert Archer’s wife, Lyudmila, sleepless nights over the past couple of weeks.

She lives in Kiev, around five miles from the centre of anti-government protests where reports suggest up to five people died last week.

“She said they had been up all night - they couldn’t sleep because they were so concerned,” said Robert, 66, of Moreton Hall.

“She could see buses set on fire - they could see the reflections in the clouds - and they could hear explosions, which I presume were petrol tanks being set on fire,” he added.

Robert, an aviation photographer, met Lyudmila, 49, while working in the Ukraine.

They have been married 11 years but family ties, including a daughter, have prevented her from leaving the country permanently.

They talk every night and spend many months visiting each other throughout the year.

“It’s scary to have this situation going on just a few miles from where they live. It’s where it might lead to next that’s frightening her,” said Robert, who was also in Kiev earlier this month.

While there, he visited barricades around the protesters’ main camp on Independence Square, which formed in November in opposition to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to back out of signing a landmark trade deal with the European Union.

They see Ukraine’s future as part of the EU rather than aligned with Russia.

Robert, who is keen to return to Kiev as soon as possible, said: “It was still very quiet then. It was the lull before the storm.”

 

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