LOCAL 12 - Search Results
Couple with ties to Ukraine fear for friends and family
BATAVIA, Ohio (Paula Toti) -- A husband and wife from Batavia were both born in the US, but their parents were all born in Ukraine.
After long struggles they say their parents made their way to the US wanting freedom, and they say that's what the people of Ukraine want today. Lisa Popyk and Ihor Chyzowych are emerced in Ukrainian culture and are watching closely the country they love.
Lisa says, "It's really really hard for us".
She works at P&G but was a reporter for the Cincinnati Post, and one of the first reporters into Ukraine after the fall of the former Soviet Republic. Her father who fought for freedom from Russia as a young boy visited her on that trip, after having been away 56 years. Lisa says when he got off the train and saw the flag and heard people speaking Ukrainian he was, "like a little boy, so happy."
Ihor says even since that time he's noticed during his visits Ukrainians have felt Russian dominance.
He says, "They just want their own stuff, to be a good neighbor and live free."
As a US soccer coach Ihor has traveled many places and even has soccer friends who have recently been to Ukraine.
He says, "I know from everything I hear, the people are armed. It's not just the military, that doesn't have the strength as the Russians, but the people are armed."
Lisa had a family friend killed in the protests in Ukraine. She says people are bracing for civil war and preparing for the worst.
Follow Paula Toti on Twitter @paulatoti and LIKE her on Facebook