Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every week for Huddersfield Hub.

The drastic results of the Ukrainian invasion are being felt worldwide including here on the sunshine coast of the Costa del Sol.

With the rouble hitting rock bottom and banking channels short circuited, it has left the 7,400 Russian residents registered as living in the Malaga province in dire straits.

Most of those with Russian banks are unable to get cash or use cards for food, school fees, medication, pay rent and so on.

This is causing many to panic and there is, it seems, a great deal of fear amongst Russian people here as they suffer the effects of sanctions. There are also some reports of intimidation. Dozens of the very rich have gone.

Meanwhile, the scandal-hit former King Juan Carlos is maybe considering a return here to his homeland from exile in the UAE because he has been released of the threat of charges of money laundering and kick-backs linked to Spain’s high speed train contract. We will see how that develops.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE

There is concern in some Spanish resorts within the hospitality scene as they prepare for some big bills and a possible reduction in bookings due to fuel rises.

It’s interesting, in this turbulent world, that each time I prepare to write about the state of the tourist industry, it seems to vary so radically. Sometimes upbeat and positive, occasionally struggling to survive.

But there must be some optimism as lots of famous performers are set to descend upon the Spanish coast this summer; entertaining in concerts and festivals.

Included in the list so far include Liam Gallagher, Chemical Brothers and James Blake. Elsewhere, James Blunt and Madness are performing in Barcelona.

But Tom Jones may not be coming to Marbella due to a throat infection and Lionel Richie has cancelled with most of his team suffering with Covid.

The visa issue during this wretched war, is a thorny problem as the thousands of people escape from Ukraine and seek refuge.

As we have all witnessed, Poland has been incredible in offering safety with kindness and concern for all who make it inside its borders.

At the moment there has been no demand for these unfortunate families to hold visas, rightly on humanitarian grounds. But from Tuesday those with passports can apply for a UK visa.

When you look at the requirements for any Brit wanting to come into Spain and maybe live here, the visa rules are strict and quite demanding.

Gone are the days when after a delightful holiday you might extend your stay and perhaps consider living in Spain henceforth. No chance – unless you want to risk getting questioned by police and deported with passport voided!

Not wanting to get entangled in politics but I must comment on a subject close to my heart regarding the Russian gymnast, Ivan Kuliak, who decided – stupidly – to wear a ‘Z’ symbol (supporting the invasion of Ukraine) on his leotard during the medal ceremony during a major event in Doha this week.

I found this abhorrent, and I’m aware now that the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) is to take disciplinary action against him. Incidentally he was beaten, with the Ukraine gymnast winning that parallel bar final.

Kuliak said he had no regrets and would do it again, which is shameful.

We think, like others, that Ukraine’s President Zelensky is a hero.