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Global Economy

Ukraine conflict: "Should we let ourselves be divided? This is not our war"

People in the coastal city of Mariupol enjoyed a warm afternoon on the beach on Saturday, while separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine ordered a full mobilization of the military.

Farmers in villages near the border with the separatist region were repairing field machinery after explosions were heard the night before.

Vladimir, who declined to give his last name, lives near the area controlled by pro-Russian separatists.

"What should they do? They should sit down and talk to each other like humans. How difficult is that? I have relatives there (in the rebel area), my wife has relatives in Lviv," he explains. "Should we fight, should we allow ourselves to be divided? This is not our war, this is their war (he speaks of the leadership) and we are the ones who suffer."

People in Kyiv are hoping tensions in eastern Ukraine will not escalate further after violence between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists has escalated in recent days.

30-year-old IT specialist Alona says, "We're trying to stay calm and not panic. But of course we're worried about our families and relatives who stayed in our hometown of Kharkiv (Eastern Ukraine). We hope that the situation is improving and becoming calmer than it is now."

Victoria lives in the capital, she is relaxed. "I think it's propaganda that is artificially generated. We are for peace all over the world," she says.

In Kiev, too, people are taking precautions. During survival training, women learned how best to protect themselves in the event of a major escalation.

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