News / USA

Ukrainian Americans in Western Pennsylvania Reject Russian Aggression

Ukrainian Americans in Western Pennsylvania Reject Russian Aggressioni
X
March 10, 2014 11:28 PM
As Ukrainians in Crimea prepare to vote on a on secession, Ukrainian Americans are publicly voicing concerns to members of Congress. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports, support in a large Ukrainian American community in Pennsylvania is mostly limited to financial, diplomatic assistance to Ukraine.
Kane Farabaugh
As Ukrainians in Crimea prepare to vote on a hastily prepared referendum on secession, Ukrainian Americans are publicly voicing their concerns to members of the U.S. Congress.  Support in one large Ukrainian American community in western Pennsylvania is mostly limited to financial and diplomatic assistance to their home country.

At a town hall meeting in the basement of St. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Carnegie, Pennsylvania, there is no shortage of outrage at Russia's intervention in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Hanna Chumachenko Lassansky moved to the area from Ukraine about 15 years ago, and has watched with anxiety as Russian forces move closer to where her family still lives.

“My family is too close to Crimea, and everybody understands that Crimea is just the first step," she said. "After that will be eastern Ukraine and southern Ukraine.”

Lassansky joined about 50 other concerned Ukrainian Americans, many second or third generation family members of immigrants, to send a message to their U.S. congressman, Tim Murphy, saying they reject Russian military intervention in their homeland.

“The American politicians should understand that all these so-called cultural and historical backgrounds Putin tries to bring up, they don’t matter,” she said.

It is a message Murphy says he hears loud and clear from the large Ukrainian American population that lives and works in his western Pennsylvania congressional district.

“These are not people making up stories.  These are not people simply reading it in newspapers," he said. "These are people who are in contact now with folks there.  And certainly hoping for the best and hoping that the United States will support Ukraine’s right to its own future determination, which I support.”

But in a country weary of more than a decade of war in places like Afghanistan and Iraq, many in Murphy’s congressional district draw the line at the use of U.S. military force.  

"As an American citizen, I would not want to see the United States military send troops to Ukraine," said Father Timothy Tomson, who leads St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in nearby McKees Rocks. “I think that if we give them the moral support and they realize that they are not standing alone, that can give them the strength to continue on their journey, on their battle.”

"The Congress can vote to provide funding to help Ukraine," said Rep. Murphy.  "The Congress can also vote in referendums to resolutions to support actions by our president with regard to any other resolutions that are putting sanctions on Russia.  Certainly standing up to Russia, and a vote of support for Ukraine is also very, very important for people to see the U.S. government supports the government of Ukraine.

But that support has so far not persuaded Russian President Vladimir Putin to recall forces he reportedly sent recently to Crimea, and a planned vote on Crimean separation from Ukraine could prolong the crisis, and the anxiety of Ukrainian Americans in western Pennsylvania.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Steve from: New York
March 11, 2014 7:05 AM
Ukrainians are not Russians! Ukraine made its choice in favor of EU and USA but Russia can't accept it.

by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
March 10, 2014 8:58 PM
Those Americans with Ukranian roots staged shameless show by their delusions above any reasonable proportions and paranoid suppositions. Why cited Hanna Chumachenko hasn’t been troubled with far-right coup d’etat in Kyev that had preceded the “invasion”? Why she and those around her deluded and lost Americans with Ukranian roots have “forgotten” that Russia has legally leased Crimean territory up to year 2040 and provides justifiable security for normal functioning of its stationed military bases? To knowledge of those “Americans with Ukranian roots’, the bases have been deployed according to bilateral agreement with overthrown constitutionally appointed Ukranian government.

by: bobm from: corning ny
March 10, 2014 8:21 PM
what short memories these russians have.. remember when they were USSR and the long bread lines and empty shelves...!!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs