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Sacramento Area Ukrainians Plead For Action To Prevent More Violence

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Local Ukrainians are keeping a close eye on the deadly conflict in Ukraine, worried about their families and that the violence could escalate even with the announcement of a truce.

More than 100,000 immigrants from the former Soviet Union live in the Sacramento area, and they’ve all been glued to the news coverage coming out of Ukraine and praying for a resolution.

Edward Tyshkevich and his wife haven’t stopped watching coverage of the violence in the Ukraine, even though it’s hard to watch.

“Almost 24 hours a day since it all started,” he said. “It breaks my heart to see people die. And for what reason?”

At least two-dozen are dead and hundreds more wounded in the intense clashes between police and protesters. Tyshkevich is worried about his 80-year-old mother who still lives in Kiev.

President of the Northern California Ukraine Heritage Society Lubow Jowa says most of the local immigrants are sympathetic to the protesters, and are upset the regime has been reluctant to sign an agreement with the European Union.

“People are interested in seeing that Ukraine allies itself with Europe,” she said.

But even with Wednesday’s announcement of a truce, Jowa says it’s still all talk and no action.

“The president wants the demonstrations to stop, but as soon as they stop, there’s no incentive for him to do anything,” she said.

Jowa, along with many Ukrainians in Sacramento, believe the violence won’t stop until the international community takes action and puts pressure on the president.

“Pressure has to be placed on him, bad publicity, economic sanctions will all work toward changing their minds,” she said. “They can’t be rewarded for what they are doing right now.”

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