Ukrainians in Singapore rally together

Ukrainian Volodymyr Yedalov, a project manager in Singapore, has only had about six hours of sleep in the past four days. "That's how worried I am for the people back home," said the 31-year-old.

He and his friends are following developments online and translating Russian and Ukrainian articles into English to raise awareness. "The use of weapons to solve political and social problems is uncivilised," he said.

He is among the small community of Ukrainians here who have rallied together as tensions escalate over the Crimea region.

According to Ukraine's embassy in Singapore, there are 217 Ukrainians registered here, though a spokesman said the total could be "two or three times more".

They range from university students and academics to professionals in IT, shipping and finance.

Wealth manager Anna Coen, 31, has noticed an increase in activity on the Facebook page for Ukrainians in Singapore. "Before, people would ask about where to go," she said. "Now, people are posting articles, photos and links every day about what's going on."

Ukraine's ambassador to Singapore Pavlo Sultansky said its people here have grown more politicised. "Our modest community here has expressed their anger and disappointment. They have asked how they can provide support to their family, friends and people protesting there."

He also appealed to his countrymen to "respect the legislation of Singapore" and act "in a legal manner".

But part-time educator Larysa Swierzy, 33, dismissed the idea that tensions might arise between Ukrainians and Russians here.

"All the Russian people I've met and spoken to did not expect this to happen and don't want war," she said. "This is just the work of certain politicians."


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