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Local Ukrainian-Americans weigh in on boiling tensions at Ukraine-Russia border

Russia Ukraine
Posted at 10:40 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-29 09:04:32-05

Roman Rakowsky immigrated to the U.S. in 1952, at that time Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. The images of Russian troops gathered on the Ukrainian border are concerning, but not shocking to him.

“It just hurts to see my mother country being so jeopardized and in such a position,” said Rakowsky. “It’s difficult to believe what Putin says, it’s more important to see what he does and you have to look at historical things that he’s done before.”

On Friday night, Rakowsky and several other Ukrainian-American veterans gathered and discussed the boiling tensions at the border.

Nestor Kostryk still has family in Ukraine and said he’s thinking about them right now.

“This is just a replay of what Russia always wants to do,” said Kostryk. “They want to establish themselves as a world power and they only feel like they can be a world power if they include the Ukraine.”

In the same room that News 5 interviewed Kostryk are pictures from the Soviet Famine, where millions of Ukrainians starved to death in the 1930's due to an effort ordered by Joseph Stalin.

While a potential war under Vladimir Putin isn't the same as famine, Kostryk says you can still draw parallels.

“[Putin] wants to reimpose power,” said Kostryk.

While Kostryk said he’s grateful that the U.S. is stepping up to help his homeland, he truly believes America shouldn’t step in at all.

“Personally, I don’t want to send American troops to Ukraine,” said Kostryk. “This is something that the Ukrainian have to do themselves.”

RELATED: Russia threatens to retaliate if its demands in Ukraine are not met

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