Local Ukrainians brace themselves as violence continues in home - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Local Ukrainians brace themselves as violence continues in home country

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Ukrainians living in Richmond are keeping in close touch with loved ones, still in their home country. Thursday's downed plane is the latest chapter in the violent upheaval in Ukraine, since pro-Russian forces took over the eastern part of the country, several months ago.

Yuriy Mulyar says he doesn't know what tomorrow will bring for his relatives living in the middle of the turmoil. Mulyar left the Ukraine with his wife and young son nine years ago. He says he's carved out a safer and more successful  life in the U.S. It's a life many of his loved ones and friends in the Ukraine, are not fortunate to have, in the midst of war.

"Everybody is under pressure, and everybody is waiting. They don't know what is going to happen tomorrow," said Mulyar.

The fighting between Ukraine forces and pro-Russian rebels has gone on for months. Some Ukrainians are yearning for change, to progress with the European Union.

"I know friends who are in the military right now, and it's going to take time," continued Mulyar.

Russian-loyalists still in Ukraine side with the mother-country, run by Vladimir Putin, a man whom Mulyar believes is trying to quell their independence,

"Russia- they don't want to see neighbors succeed. They want to keep neighbors low… to create a bumper to the border of Russia," added Mulyar.

President Obama enacted new sanctions against Russia Thursday morning. However, the violence in the region only erupted further. The world watched the aftermath of a Malaysian plane shot down in Ukraine,  taking nearly 300 lives in a blazing crash.


"It's not only Ukraine and Russia. Now it's involving more countries...It's gone too far...too far," said Mulyar, sadly.

Mulyar was an athlete the national Ukraine cycling team. He has family and friends all over the country. Mulyar says local Ukrainians are asking for prayers.

Get the latest from NBC12's Kelly Avellino on Facebook and Twitter.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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