Ukraine Prepares for All-Out War as 'Russian Tanks and Troops Enter Donetsk'
The world has finally woken up to Russia's invasion, but we've known about it for months
IBTimes UK

Looking around Kiev, you cannot say that anything has changed after reports of Russian tanks were invading Ukraine. Here, in Kiev, it's not a piece of news; everyone already knows that, in the east of the country, the Russians are attempting to capture our territory and destroy our economic system. All we're focusing on is trying to feed ourselves, and avoid being sucked into the financial oblivion facing our country.

Ukrainians are accustomed to the fact that people are dying at a young age. Everybody is upset, but it doesn't cause panic. The murdering and crippling of our countrymen has become everyday, habitual.

Despite this, Ukraine has lots of charitable organizations which are still trying to help our soldiers. There are such people in every town, who collect money, food, medicines and warm clothes for the Ukrainian army. Most of them convey vital products straight to the centres of armed confrontations, risking their lives in the process.

In addition to the volunteer battalions who are fighting in Donbass, one can find a variety of local volunteer groups training in martial arts and military battle techniques, ready to fight the Russians. In such small groups you can see young guys between 20 and 35 years old, but older people also take part. There are also a lot of women.

All these people are preparing for Putin's armed invasion to their own towns, but this isn't new; they've been prepared for the last six months. It hasn't been triggered by any statement from European politicians.

In the last six months we've repeatedly heard that politicians are "concerned" and "disturbed", and "will use sanctions". Frankly, we were tired of such phrases by the end of summer. We began to joke about it. Now such statements routinely cause indifference, gibes and offence.

The situation escalates day by day, however the amount of real action decreases. One can see more and more apathy in Ukrainians' eyes when they talk about Donbass.

US Justice Department Probing Suspected Foreign Exchange Rigging
All we are focusing on is the foreign currency markets

What really worries Ukrainians, and in particular citizens of Kiev - is the exchange rate. Since the beginning of the year the value of the Ukrainian hryvnia has almost halved, and it's now at a historic low. The purchasing power of the country, which is one of the poorest in Europe, goes down day by day.

This disquiets Ukrainians, and not only because they cannot now celebrate Christmas holidays in the popular ski resorts. Today each of us has to reduce the amount of products we consume. The prices of almost everything have risen in response to the dollar and euro exchange rates. A basket of food now costs twice as much as it did just six months ago. Lots of Ukrainians are on the border of survival.

So, here is what really matters for ordinary Ukrainian. Kiev dwellers are not afraid of Putin and his military. We know how to liquidate a bad President; we had such precedent with our previous President Yanukovych. However, we still don't know how to deal with the exchange rates which are making us paupers.