'It is just wrong' - Sunderland residents share their thoughts on Russian's invasion of Ukraine

“It is just wrong”.

Vladimir Putin has caused international outrage with Russia’s invasion of neighbouring Ukraine.

And Janet Hovvels was among shoppers in Sunderland adding their voices in condemnation.

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The 81-year-old was shopping in The Bridges with sister Irene Thompson and both are extremely concerned about the situation developing on Europe’s border.

“You have got ordinary people having to go out and buy guns and learn how to shoot in order to defend themselves – it is wrong,” said Irene.

"Putin is wanting to take it back to the borders that Russia had in the first place. I just feel sorry for the ordinary people in Ukraine.”

Both Janet, from Washington, and 72-year-old Irene, from Rowlands Gill, want to see the West take more action against the Kremlin leader but hope it will stop short of armed conflict: “We don’t want to see our lads sent in,” said Irene.

Businessman Andy Buddin is hoping both sides will reach a compromise without a need for conflict: “I am scared, but I’m not, if that makes sense,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin 'should wind his neck in', says Janet Hovvels

"We are never going to live in peace totally – there will always be somebody like this and Putin is going to try to get what he wants

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"I am hoping common sense will prevail.”

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Andy, 57, who runs stalls in Jacky White’s Market, believes the UK Government has dragged its heels in taking action against Putin and his allies: “We have not done as much as other countries,” he said.

"If the sanctions work, they should have been brought in hard straightaway.”

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Suzanne McCue agreed.

NHS worker Suzanne, 42, said the Government had done ‘too little, too late’ to halt the increase in Russian aggression.

Uncertainty over Putin’s long game made the situation particularly concerning, she added: “I have been watching the news and it is scary and confusing because so much of it is unknown,” said Suzanne, from Newcastle.

David Price, from Fulwell, is worried the situation is set to escalate: “It looks that way – it looks as if things are going to get worse rather than slow down,” he said.

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"Whenever you have a dictator like that, they are always going to get more and more belligerent – Putin wants to restore the USSR to what it previously was,” said David, 77.

Stan Shields said he thought Putin was trying to recapture his Cold War glory days: “I think because he was such a powerful man before the Berlin Wall came down, because he was KGB, he has a very high opinion of himself.

"He is trying to grab back the territory that they lost when the Soviet Union broke up.”

Seventy-three-year-old Stan, who lives in Gateshead but is originally from Pallion, has been following the situation closely. He said sanctions should be as tough as possible

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in order to cause the ‘maximum amount of financial hurt’ to Putin and his allies.

Stan said he was extremely worried things would escalate to armed conflict, ‘but I am hoping it will not’.

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