Unrest in Ukraine has reached new heights and as the bloodshed continues, Ukrainians in northeastern Pennsylvania are paying close attention.
Olena Karpinich of Dallas has been watching reports out of Ukraine morning, noon and night.
“I see the same thing starting to happen, what my parents fled from,” she said, calling the images of people killed and wounded ‘emotional.’
Walter Karpinich was born in Ukraine and said the protesters in Kiev who are being targeted by government forces are mostly students, protesting peacefully as they have been since November.
He said the protesters are calling for much needed change in the government, a government led by a president that Karpinich said is controlled by Russian leader Vladamir Putin.
“The situation is quite dire there because there is violence and very innocent people are being killed. These people are not after power, they simpoly want to change the regime so they get pensions, they get the kind of pensions and compensations for the work that they’re doing,” he said.
At St. Vladimir Ukranian Greek Catholic Church in Scranton, there are serious concerns for those in Ukraine.
Rev. Myron Myronyuk lived in Kiev. His twin brother and sister-in-law still live there and have started helping wounded protesters in their church, which they have turned into a makeshift hospital.
“I can’t sleep, you know? I know how many people needed help, and it’s very hard for me. I can’t sleep the past nights because I watch online what’s happening in Ukraine,” he said.
The images out of Ukraine are startling and many in our area are worried about loved ones living there.
“It’s own government turning against its own people, it’s outrageous, outrageous, it has to be stopped,” said Paul Ewasko of Dalton.
In the end, those in northeastern Pennsylvania, more than 4,700 miles from Kiev, said all they can do is wait and hope for the best.
“It’s very hard for me because I am very far from Kiev and I pray many times per day, I say, ‘God, help them, save them,’ and I have hope that God help them, and I hope soon there will be a stop to this very hard time for my beautiful country,” said Rev. Myronyuk.