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Vietnamese in Ukraine Reeling From Violent Clashes

The violence and political turmoil in Ukraine are taking a toll not just on Ukrainians, but on foreigners such as Vietnamese who now call it their home.

Tran Manh Hung, a businessman in Kyiv, said lingering tension in the Ukrainian capital has affected business. “Many Vietnamese people earn their living in retail markets, and the trading has not been good lately with loss of profit as the result of protests,” he said.

Phi Van Tiep, another Vietnamese businessman in Kharkiv where the largest Vietnamese community resides, said Ukrainians of Vietnamese origin have concentrated on making ends meet.

“Vietnamese here are not politically active. They do not care if things do not have direct impacts on them. They do not support any party or group,” he said.

Thousands of Vietnamese are living and working in Ukraine. Many stayed in the country after their contracts as guest workers expired in the 1980's.

Vietnam’s embassy in Kyiv has warned its nationals of places where confrontations between anti-government protesters and security forces have occurred, urging them to avoid problem areas.

According to Vietnamese state-owned media, some have closed down their businesses and returned to Vietnam to avoid unpredictable consequences.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.