Ukrainians living near Bristol fear for family in Kyiv as Russia launches full-scale invasion

  • Vera Stadon speaks to ITV News West Country.

A Ukrainian family living near Bristol have said they are worried about their relatives after Russia launched a “full-scale invasion”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has confirmed a "military operation" is underway in Ukraine, claiming it is intended to protect civilians.

It was described as a “full-scale invasion” by Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, who urged other countries to “stop Putin”.

Vera Stadon, who is from Ukraine but now lives in Mangotsfield in South Gloucestershire, told ITV News West Country she is worried about her relatives.

“It is very difficult to explain to small children what’s happening,” she said. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has launched a series of military operations in Ukraine.

“How do you explain to a five-year-old why we are in a war? 

“It’s even hard to explain to my children here. Why can’t we just jump on a plane and see our granny?”

Sounds of explosions have been heard in multiple Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv.

Explosions have been reported in cities across Ukraine. Credit: James Mates/ITV News

Putin warned other countries that any attempt to interfere with the Russian action would lead to “consequences they have never seen".

He accused the US and its allies of ignoring Russia’s demand to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO and offer Moscow security guarantees.

He said the Russian military operation aims to ensure a “demilitarisation” of Ukraine and all Ukrainian servicemen who lay down arms will be able to safely leave the zone of combat.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reportedly introduced martial law, and urged people to remain calm in a brief video address on Thursday morning.