When the Russian attack on Ukraine began early on Thursday morning, Alexei Achkasov received a text from his 10-year-old daughter, Alisa.
“Daddy, I’m really scared,” she wrote. “I don’t know what to do because we can hear explosions. What do I do?”
Alisa was at home in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, near the Russian border. Her father, a Ukrainian-British national, was in Carnoustie, Angus.
“Obviously when a 10-year-old is asking you such questions, well that’s it, you can’t sleep after that,” he told BBC Scotland.
Charities have urged the UK to welcome thousands of refugees from Ukraine, matching the effort made after the 1990s conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
The UK should play a leading role in providing sanctuary, according to Save the Children and Amnesty International, among others.
‘Ready to open our arms’
A Scottish government spokeswoman said the UK government has not made it aware of any plans for Ukraine-specific refugee resettlement.
She added: “Scotland stands ready to offer refuge and sanctuary.
“If a resettlement programme is announced, or Ukraine nationals are accepted as part of existing programmes, the Scottish government will work to support our local authorities and services to enable them to offer places and support refugees arriving.”
Alison Evison, president of the local government umbrella body Cosla, has written to Russia’s UK ambassador to condemn the invasion.
She said: “The inevitable suffering being, and yet to be, caused to local communities across Ukraine by the Russian military invasion cannot be ignored.
“We in Scottish local government stand ready to open our arms to those in Ukraine and help them in whatever way we can.”
Meanwhile, among those protesting in Glasgow was Yevegn Chub, a Ukrainian citizen who has been living in Glasgow for seven years, and has family and friends who live near Kyiv.
He said: “It is a horror, I am constantly trying to connect with my family and friends to try and catch up with the news. I have not slept well at all.
“So far so good, they have electricity, mobile connection and they have food. But they should have started the sanctions months ago – now the sanctions are nothing for Putin.”
Mark McGuinness, who has lived and worked in Ukraine, was also at the protest and described the country as having a “very passionate and intelligent” society. He said: “I think it’s an absolute tragedy what is unfolding there.
“It’s surreal, I’m old enough to remember the Gulf War and The Falkland’s War, I never thought I would see an atrocity like this
“It is not just Ukrainians, it is Russians losing their lives too. I think we can do more but we have definitely missed the boat.”
Crowds chanted “please help Ukraine” and “slava Ukraini” (glory to Ukraine).
A megaphone was passed around demonstrators, with some sharing personal stories about relatives currently hiding in basements in Kyiv.
Marjan Pokhyly, originally from Kyiv and now living in Edinburgh, said he was worried about his grandmother in Ukraine. He said: “On her house there was a mark for artillery strike.
“I don’t know if the mark has been rubbed off, but there were people dressed in regular clothes and they were walking around marking for artillery to strike.”
‘Hiding in the basement’
Vlada Kren, who is from Ukraine, said her friends and relatives of her husband, Vasyl Kren, who is a Ukrainian priest in the Leith area of the city, are still in parts of the country that are being heavily targeted.
She added: “A lot of my friends here have parents in the worst of Ukraine, in the middle of Ukraine, and they have parents hiding in the basement, and they are crying because they are helpless that they can’t help.”
Sean Cusick recalls waking at 04:45 to the “sound of thunder” and the walls around him shaking.
The space industry consultant from Glasgow is in Kharkiv, Ukraine – about 24 miles (40km) from the eastern border – where Russian armed forces have launched air strikes on all surrounding airports.
Throughout Thursday morning, Sean has listened to hundreds of explosions, which he says keep getting closer.
He is currently stranded with his wife Chloe – a Ukrainian national – and his two-year-old stepson.
“I’m getting exceedingly more terrified,” he said. “Last night between 20:00 and 04:00 there were no flights from Kharkiv airport, suggesting there was going to be an attack.
“There’s reports of Russian tanks within the city limits now – it’s hard to verify anything that’s happening.”
The couple have been attempting to leave Ukraine for the UK since November when they got married, but have been hit with several financial and bureaucratic hurdles.
Chloe had been living in China for 10 years previously, and her passport and ID were therefore invalid when she returned home – a problem that was further complicated by her name change.
Meanwhile Sean, who is living from pay cheque to pay cheque on freelance work, says they no longer have enough money for rent or food, and are relying on the support of family.
He said: “There’s no way we can even travel without some financial support to get to Poland – we would hopefully be able to get to the UK from there.
“[My wife] was supposed to get her national ID today but obviously that’s been put on the back-burner for now.
“We also have some dogs and a cat – they’re part of our family, we don’t want to leave them behind. They’re just defenceless creatures that we have responsibility for.”
Ukraine has declared a month-long state of emergency as Russia said it had carried out air strikes on Ukraine’s military infrastructure and border guard units – but said it had not targeted populated areas.
Russian military vehicles are reported to have breached Ukraine’s border in the north, south and east of the country, including from Belarus.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a “massive package of economic sanctions” would be targeted at the Russian economy over the “hideous” invasion.
The Scottish Parliament will debate a motion of solidarity with the Ukrainian people later on Thursday, and all party leaders voiced condemnation of Russia’s actions prior to the weekly First Minister’s Questions.
Sean, meanwhile, is focused on setting up a safe life for his family and has launched a crowdfunding page for travel expenses and childcare.
In the five years they have known each other, he and his wife have spent precious little time in each other’s company.
They were separated for two years as Chloe was unable to leave China during the Covid pandemic, but finally reunited in October – which was the first time Sean was able to meet his stepson.
He says it is difficult to find out what is happening in his area due to the spread of misinformation – and describes the UK Home Office as “unhelpful”.
Local authorities have told them a siren will sound if there is imminent danger, letting them know when they can go to a bomb shelter.
Sean said: “Even though I’m scared witless, I’m not in any current danger that I’m aware of – but that can change in a matter of seconds.”
He was forced to cut his interview with the BBC short and go indoors as he heard the sound of a nearby tank.
Chelsea’s Russian owner Roman Abramovich says he is “giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable foundation the stewardship and care” of the club.
Abramovich, who will remain the club’s owner, has made the move amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The decision was made on the eve of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup final match against Liverpool at Wembley when they were beaten by 11 penaties to ten on Sunday.
“I have always taken decisions with the club’s best interest at heart,” Abramovich said in a statement.
“I remain committed to these values. That is why I am today giving trustees of Chelsea’s charitable Foundation the stewardship and care of Chelsea FC.
“I believe that currently they are in the best position to look after the interests of the club, players, staff, and fans.”
Following Abramovich’s statement which did not reference the invasion of Ukraine, Chelsea released another statement on Sunday which said the situation was “horrific and devastating”.
“Chelsea FC’s thoughts are with everyone in Ukraine. Everyone at the club is praying for peace,” said the west London club.
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said it was “seeking urgent clarification” on what Abramovich’s statement on Saturday means for the running of the club.
It is not known yet if Abramovich will be sanctioned as part of the UK government’s measures against Russia.
BBC Sport understands Chelsea are not for sale, and the £1.5bn loan their owner gave to the club is not being called in.
Abramovich is one of Russia’s richest people and is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He added: “During my nearly 20-year ownership of Chelsea FC [the club was founded by Dumbarton men in London], I have always viewed my role as a custodian of the club, whose job it is ensuring that we are as successful as we can be today, as well as build for the future, while also playing a positive role in our communities.”
The Chelsea Foundation runs the club’s community and education departments as well as other charitable activities. Its chairman is US lawyer Bruce Buck, who is also chairman of the club as a whole.
The foundation’s other trustees are Chelsea women’s team manager Emma Hayes, the club’s director of finance Paul Ramos, British Olympic Association chair Sir Hugh Robertson, Fare (Football Against Racism in Europe) chief Piara Powar and lawyer John Devine.
During Abramovich’s time at Chelsea, the club have won the Champions League twice, both the Premier League and FA Cup five times, the Europa League twice and the League Cup three times.
In August 2021, they won the Uefa Super Cup and they recently won their first Club World Cup, meaning the Blues have won every possible trophy under Abramovich’s ownership.
Earlier in the week, Labour’s Chris Bryant told MPs he had a leaked Home Office document that suggested Abramovich should not be able to base himself in the UK.
Downing Street would not be drawn on the claims about Abramovich made in the House of Commons.
In a tweet on Sunday, Bryant wrote: “Unless and until he condemns the criminal invasion of Ukraine I will continue to call for the UK to sanction him and seize/freeze assets.”
UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said on Sunday she had a “hit list” of Russian oligarchs who will face sanctions, but would not say if Abramovich was on it.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel had said on Friday there were “so many uncertainties around the situation of our club” following Russia’s invasion of a neighbouring country.
The Chelsea Supporters’ Trust said it was “ready to work with the trustees of the Chelsea Foundation in order to ensure the long-term interests of the club and supporters”. It added: “We stand with the people of Ukraine.”