Bay Area Ukrainians Urge U.S., World to Intervene With Russia

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ukrainians who live in the Bay Area are following the developments very closely and some are taking action, urging the U.S. and the rest of the world to intervene. NBC Bay Area’s Monte Francis has reaction from protesters who gathered outside the Russian consulate in San Francisco Saturday afternoon. (Published Sunday, Mar 2, 2014)

    Ukrainians who live in the Bay Area are following the developments very closely and some are taking action, urging the U.S. and the rest of the world to intervene with the Russian military entering Ukraine.

    Protesters gathered outside the Russian consulate in San Francisco Saturday afternoon, opposing Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.

    They sang together the Ukrainian national anthem and other patriotic songs in a show of support for their compatriots on the other side of the globe.

    Yulia Zimmermann is a U.S. citizen who speaks Russian and immigrated from Ukraine.

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    "If you would read the history of Ukraine, just for 10 minutes, you would understand the pain of these people," she said. "Ukraine has never attacked anyone."

    While some Russian-speaking Ukrainians are welcoming Russia’s presence, many protesters said they are filled with dismay watching the Russian military take control of Crimea, which has been part of Ukraine since 1954.

    Dr. Lisa Shostakovich is a Ukrainian-born Russian citizen who now lives in the Bay Area.

    "If [a] whole society [is] gonna let Putin do that too, it can lead to much conflict and basically a nightmare situation in the world."

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    Russia’s actions appear to violate a treaty signed by the U.S. and Russia in 1994, which promised to respect Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty.

    Many of the protesters want the U.S. to intervene and even take military action if necessary.

    "I don’t see if there is a peaceful resolution," protester Vadim Zaliva said. "I hope very much there would be. And we hope the United States government will support Ukrainian independence."

    "We do not want war," Zimmermann said. "We are not against Russians. The only problem is the regime of Putin."