Americans-Ukrainians are worried about the tensions in their homeland


Conversations have always been serious in the last few weeks of American and Ukrainian rallies. Even the normally cheerful pre-Lent dinner dance in Bridgeville, hosted by the Ukrainian community in western Pennsylvania last weekend, faces signs of concern for its homeland. In more than 30 Ukrainian churches in the region, many have held rallies to pray for Ukrainian peace.

The monks who participated in the dinner dance led one of the prayers, and the participants sang the Ukrainian national anthem. This national anthem calls on the singer to put his soul and body for his precious freedom.

“People support each other by gathering, discussing, sharing thoughts and concerns,” said Stephen Halschzak, director of the Ukrainian Institute for Cultural Humanitarian Affairs and author of “Ukrainians in Western Pennsylvania” at the Epoch Times. Told to.

The Pittsburgh region has the fourth largest Ukrainian settlement in the United States. Ukrainians also settle in areas around Detroit, Cleveland, Chicago and New York. They came to Pennsylvania in the late 1800s and early 1900s before World War I and worked in coal mines, steel mills and railroads. Then, in the 1920s and 1990s, a wave of Ukrainians arrived in the United States, fleeing conflict and associated financial difficulties.

Now they are worried about seeing Russian President Vladimir Putin escalate an attack on Ukraine.

“In the Ukrainian community, it’s always in our heads,” said Halluszczak. “The concern is that Ukraine will be invaded, death and destruction will occur, and Ukraine will be dismantled.”

Ukrainians no longer want war, he says. Weapons and materials provided by the United States and other countries have improved Ukraine’s readiness, but they still wish for peaceful and diplomatic achievements.

“We don’t want the US military to go there,” said Halluszczak. “The United States is a global policeman and has lost so many young lives around the world in an attempt to do good.” He keeps Russia out of the international banking community and blocks the sale of semiconductors to Russia. He said he hopes the United States will support strict sanctions.

People with families in Ukraine, such as Rev. Steve Lepa, a priest of St. John of the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Sharon, Pennsylvania, have heard different reactions to the Russian invasion.

“Pittsburgh people are hearing from families in western Ukraine, and it is said that relatives bought graves and completed funeral arrangements in case they died in battle,” Lepa said. Told the Epoch Times. Others are trying to maintain normal activities of daily living, and a few say it’s probably not too bad to be dominated by Russia.

“I feel like I went to the doctor he said I had cancer,” Lepa said. “You prepare for the worst, but pray for something better.”

Since we are no longer an independent country, we can feel that all invasion of Ukraine is the United States, Lepa said. The United States is economically connected to many international resources.

In 1994, Ukraine abandoned its nuclear weapons in the Budapest Memorandum of Understanding and was guaranteed safe by the United States and other countries.

“We have promised to protect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In return, Ukraine has abandoned its nuclear weapons,” Bob McConnell, co-founder of the Ukrainian Foundation, told The Epoch Times. rice field. “What other countries have a core interest in thinking about the guarantees that can be obtained from the United States if we do not follow what we said in the Budapest Memorandum of Understanding?”

The US-Ukraine Foundation, headquartered in Washington, DC, is a think tank that supports Ukraine’s democracy, free market economy, human rights development, and strategic partnerships between the United States and Ukraine, the website says. ..

“There are many reasons Americans should care about this. We are interested in the security system that was set up to create and protect peace after World War II. War in Europe That’s a concern, because if it happens, it has the benefit of dragging us into it, “McConnell said.

He said Russia is already otherwise aggressive, while Russia’s military movement has received much media attention. For example, cyber attacks that debilitate Ukrainian computer systems for hours at a time, fear of bombs in schools and other public buildings, and publicity. According to McConnell, Russia has historical rights to Ukraine, including photos of tanks on board trains, telling the press that tanks are about to leave Ukraine when they actually head to Ukraine. False information such as claiming to have.

Ukraine would be at a disadvantage if Russia used its air power because of the lack of an air force, but McConnell said people would fight hard to maintain their freedom.

“Ukraine has been independent for 30 years. Looking at its history over the last one and a half centuries, or two centuries, it is the longest period of independence in Ukraine. They are not going to give it up.”

Beth Brelje

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Beth Brelje is a research journalist who reports on the most interesting and sometimes hidden news in Pennsylvania’s politics, courts, and federals. Send her an idea for your story: [email protected]

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