Russians turning on Vladimir Putin key to avoiding World War Three, Ukrainian lecturer living in Portsmouth says

THE west must do more to deter Russia whose people must be shown the invasion is a ‘disaster for them’, a Ukrainian lecturer working in the city has urged.

By Steve Deeks
Monday, 28th February 2022, 4:55 am

As Russia continues its withering assault of its neighbour, a senior law lecturer at the University of Portsmouth’s Business School fears his country will eventually be taken unless countries in NATO do more - and faster - amid a growing threat of World War Three.

Dr Andrii Zharikov, 30, has family and friends in Ukraine, especially in Kyiv, and said the shocking turn of events to wage war by Vladimir Putin has deeply affected him.

‘My life will never be the same again. I am living in another world now,’ he said.

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Andrii Zharikov, senior lecturer in law at the University of Portsmouths law faculty, of himself (left) with his family - mother Tetyana Zharikova, 53, father Victor Zharikov, 55, and sister Anna-Maria Zharikova, 19. Pic: Andrii Zharikov/PA Wire

‘I message my family and friends all the time. I am not sleeping or eating. It is now a hellish life.’

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Dr Zharikov believes Putin’s provocative assault is an attack on democracy and not just Ukraine - and has urged the UK, USA and Europe to act before it is too late.

‘Now is the time to prevent it (the possibility of World War Three). NATO does not want to send its troops but they need to provide more assistance to Ukraine especially with weapons and petrol,’ he said.

‘We need more assistance from the west otherwise I fear Russia will take over. We are facing the second largest army in the world.

‘We are losing the battle in the air so supporting us with anti-aircraft missiles would also be a quick way to help as infrastructure like roads and bridges are being destroyed.’

Dr Zharikov said stronger sanctions will help in the battle to deter Putin - who he believes ultimately wants to ‘restore the Soviet states’ - but thinks Ukraine withstanding the attack and getting Russian people to turn against the president offers the best chance of peace.

‘The Russian people are doubting his leadership. The longer the Ukrainian people stand the easier it will be to get rid of Putin,’ he said.

‘If he is unable to capture Ukraine then he has no argument to show what the point of the invasion was.

‘We need to show the Russians that this invasion is a disaster for them. They may be brainwashed but we need to show them alternative information of their soldiers being shot and captured.

‘It is unlikely the west wants a war with Russia so the best way is to show the Russians of the atrocities.’

The lecturer also said the UK needs to be more to help refugees looking to flee the country - with him unable to bring over his family because of the current laws. ‘The UK needs to ease its visa requirements. I cannot bring my family over. Why can’t I bring them here?’ he said.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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