Ukrainian church members highlight concerns over tensions
While tensions have been simmering for a good decade, Ukrainians share their concerns about their family members who are preparing for a possible invasion.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The suspense surrounding Russian-Ukrainian tensions is being felt around the world. In the Tampa Bay area, a local Ukrainian church is keeping a close eye on headlines and family members still living in Ukraine.
At the Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church, the priest prays for his home country during every sermon.
Roman Voloshyn is a parishioner. Both of her parents currently live in western Ukraine.
“My father will be 81, my mother will be 80,” Voloshyn said.
Voloshyn said there was no panic, but a lot of preparation. Her parents stock up on supplies in case the power goes out.
“They get firewood in case they need it,” he explained. “They’ve got water. They’re getting ready. It’s nothing new for them.”
Russia and Ukraine have been at war since 2014. In 1994 Ukraine signed the Budapest Memorandum. As part of the agreement, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons to receive security guarantees against territorial threats. Russia has also signed this treaty.
A Russian invasion goes against the terms of the Budapest Memorandum. Leaving the Ukrainians to hope that the worst will not happen.
“Thousands and thousands dead on both sides [could happen]said Voloshyn. “In the military and civilian side. Ukraine is a big country, a big territory to cover and densely populated.”