Family members report mood souring on Russia as tensions continue to escalate.

An Auckland woman born in Ukraine says residents in her home country are ready to take up arms against Russian occupiers.

Takapuna resident Maria Vetrova said her family were nervous.

"Before it all started, half the people in Ukraine were feeling like they wanted to become part of Russia, but now they're saying not anymore.

"They [now] feel like they are on [the] edge of war with Russia."


Ms Vetrova said her aunt had told her many Ukrainians were ready to fight against the Russian forces.

"I don't see the point of doing this, why [Putin] needs to take on the whole of Ukraine to protect the Russian people there.

"I'm very concerned about my family at the moment because ... when I was talking to them today, my aunty, she was very concerned that it's not going to end.

"She says at the moment, all the people in Ukraine are ready to protect the country."

Wanganui man Jonny Field said his partner and friends, who lived in Ukraine, were concerned and considering fleeing to Moscow to avoid any fighting.

He last heard from his partner Olena yesterday.

She had to use the internet at a local cafe as the connection at her apartment had been cut, Mr Field said.

He had invested in an apartment complex in Kherson, four hours north of Sevastopol, which had recently been completed, however he was concerned about its future.

"I'm worried now, especially if something happens and the building gets damaged."

Mr Field said his partner was considering fleeing to Moscow to live with her mother and sister.

She had recently emptied her Ukrainian bank account.

"There have been some small riots in Kherson.

"I understand from my lawyer friend that there have been deaths on the street [and] gunfire."

A small group of Ukrainian supporters gathered outside the Russian Embassy in Wellington to protest against Soviet troops entering the Ukraine and the potential for an escalation of the violence into war.

His friend was afraid to leave the house at night and had started stockpiling food and water, Mr Field said.

Grant Duncan said he was in touch with a friend in the eastern town of Lugansk who said she had witnessed violence in the streets.

"She says three people were killed and there were gunshots," Mr Duncan said.

"This was some days ago.

"She is concerned that her region may bear the brunt of a Russian invasion and become a war front.

"Ukrainian people have horrific memories of war and revolution, and so there is a great deal of fear.

"Her wages are not being paid and people are queuing at supermarkets to stock up. Prices are rising.

'She is considering fleeing the country."

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