Ukrainian Association of North Carolina protest Russian President Vladimir Putin

Ukrainian Association of North Carolina protest Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo Credit: Elaina Athans, WTVD)

March 2, 2014 2:58:53 PM PST
Events of the last few days in Ukraine have been particularly concerning for the world. Now, Ukraine faces aggression from Russia in the Crimea.

In light of these events, the Ukrainian Association of North Carolina, which represents 16,000 Ukrainian-Americans residing in the state, with about 3,000 of whom are recent immigrants from Ukraine, held a demonstration of support on Sunday.

Local Ukrainians are very concerned that the country is on the verge of a civil war that will explode beyond the Ukrainian border. One man, who is described as defiant and determined, will orchestrate it all.

"The guy, he just does not care about the laws, about treaties and the international opinion," said Oleh Wolowyna, with the Ukrainian Association of North Carolina.

Protestors took to the State Capitol in protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his decision to move military units in the Crimea.

Some of the protestors' signs compared Putin to Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler.

"If Putin gets away with Ukraine, he can attack the Baltic States, he can attack Poland, Maldivia and so on," Wolowyna said.

Putin called for Russian troops in the Ukraine Saturday, even though several world leaders warned him not to, and as Ukraine began mobilizing its military after a surprise Russian takeover in Crimea.

President Barack Obama urged Putin to remove his troops and said the actions would hurt Russia in the international community.

The Ukrainian Association of North Carolina believes Putin right now is executing a well-developed plan to seize a country that "wants to be Democratic and part of Europe."

"The danger is he wants to provoke violence because that'll give him an excuse to bring the army. He officially has the authorization from his congress already," Wolowyna said.

The association has other plans for the days ahead, to press on local congressional leaders to support. The organization will be sending petitions and intend to travel to Washington D.C. Thursday to meet with members of Congress.

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