Moscow's invasion of Ukraine has caused distress among Russians living in Japan, with many expressing their opposition to the war and urging the country to withdraw its troops.

“I had thought they may invade the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, but I never expected they would invade the entire country," said Artemii Kuznetcov, 27, a student of Japanese linguistics enrolled in a doctoral program at Kyoto University.

Kuznetcov has roots in both countries, as do many people given the nations' shared history as part of the Soviet Union and previously amicable ties. Kuznetcov's father is Russian and his mother is Ukrainian.

“It’s ideal for the two countries to coexist peacefully and hold cultural exchanges,” said Kuznetcov, who hails from St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city.

“Politically and historically, (Russia) has no right to invade (Ukraine),” he said. “We should withdraw immediately. I want the Japanese people to know that at least the Russian youth are against the invasion.”

Elena Ivanova, 50, president of the Tokyo-based education center called, which connects Russian and Ukrainian young people with Japanese schools, had hoped the easing of Japan’s entry restrictions that took effect Tuesday would finally enable students from both countries to come to Japan.

“Now I wonder if they can come here safely,” she added.

In Ukraine, the company has one staff member in Kyiv and another in the eastern city of Kharkiv. "When I called them to check up on them, I heard an explosion over the phone,” she said. “The staff member I spoke to started to panic.”

Ivanova added that the two staff members are currently safe in their homes. “But they have asked for their February wages to be transferred as soon as possible,” she said.

“I want this war to end as soon as possible.”