NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – As tension build along the Ukrainian-Russian border, those who are from the country or of Ukrainian descent are watching each development closely.
“It’s a great concern for us Ukrainians abroad and for the entire world I believe right now,” said Marta Petrash, who was born and raised in Ukraine.
Petrash lived in Ukraine when the country was in the Soviet Union. She believes Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to return to those days. “I feel like Russia wants to reverse history. It wants it back to 1991 when it was in control of a lot of countries that are right now are under NATO.”
Her biggest worry is this will be a long fight with possibly many lives lost. “My concern is the life of Ukrainian people. They will sacrifice their lives, they will die for independence.”
Chrystya Geremesz is of Ukrainian descent and a first generation American who grew up in Pennsylvania who moved to North Texas later in life. She’s proud of her rich heritage, “We have a history and a foundation that we don’t want to lose and certainly an identity that we don’t want to lose.”
Geremesz said Ukraine is attractive for Russia as they try to gain more ground on the international stage.
“This constant negative stimulation from Russia is there why? Because they can’t let Ukraine go. Ukraine is a very strategic place in Europe for Russia and without that, I don’t think they can attain their superpower position they would like,” said Geremesz.
With troops building up along the border thousands of miles away, Geremesz warns North Texans we should keep a close eye on the pending invasion. “What happens with Ukraine could make a major impact in how our democracy stands in the world, so if we value our freedoms and our democracy, then we need to understand we have a country here that is struggling and wanting to be a democratic state.”
It’s a state wanting to stay free with a future in balance.
“We just have to unite and we have to stand up for our independence,” added Petrash.
To learn more about the Ukrainian American Society of Texas, click here.