Local Ukrainian priest weighs in on escalating conflict with Russia | News
LUDLOW, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The UN Security Council has called for an emergency meeting Monday night as Russia appears to be moving toward a full-blown invasion of Ukraine.
This comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin also ordered Russian troops to quote, “maintain the peace,” in those regions.
White House Principal Deputy National Security Advisor John Finer spoke on the White House’s plan as it stands right now.
The administration has issued an executive order barring trade from those separated regions of eastern Ukraine.
“We’ve also said that we plan to take additional actions tomorrow in terms of what’s actually happening on the ground in the Donbas region of Ukraine,” Finer said. “We have seen reports, but we’re basing our actions based on what Russia does, not the statements that Russia makes. We will continue to assess overnight any steps that Russia takes and will be prepared with significant response tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, Ukrainians in western Massachusetts weighed in on tensions between the two nations.
Western Mass News spoke with Father Andriy Krip, who was born in Ukraine and still has family living there.
He said that he has been following the situation closely and hopes things can be resolved peacefully.
“They are scared, they are afraid, they don’t know what’s going to happen,” Father Krip told us. “It’s definitely going to touch their life, and it’s going to be difficult.”
Father Krip, a priest at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ludlow, grew up in Ukraine. While he has lived in the United states for roughly 20 years and considers it his home, he told Western Mass News that Ukraine is still a part of his life.
“You’re still going to feel that attachment because that’s where you come from,” said Father Krip.
He told us that his extended family still lives there, and he talks to them every day about the situation with Russia.
“We do definitely worry about the family and friends and the Ukrainian nation as a whole because it touches us,” he explained.
While conflict between the two nations has been ongoing since 2014, Father Krip said that tensions are heightened now.
“In the beginning, there weren’t so much weapons, so much military by the Ukrainian borders as it is now, so we don’t know what to expect,” he said.
He is worried that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not stop with Ukraine.
“I believe he has a different goal,” Father Krip told us. “He has a goal to create the USSR.”
He said that he and his church are praying for peace.
“We always hope there will be peace,” Father Krip said. “We always hope that it can be somehow resolved peacefully.”
Father Krip added that he thinks the United States is a powerful country and has more influence on Vladimir Putin and Russia than any other country, so he said that he thinks our country would be able to do something to help Ukrainians.
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