WJTV News Channel 12 - RALEIGH: Ukrainian Americans in the Triangle react to violence

Ukrainian families watch from Triangle as country falls into chaos

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According to protest medical officials, more than 100 people died in the fighting in Kiev on Thursday alone. According to protest medical officials, more than 100 people died in the fighting in Kiev on Thursday alone.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

It's been a violent ping pong match between protestors and government forces in Ukraine. Last night the country reached a steady truce, only to be interrupted by more violence Thursday.

In Raleigh, Ukrainian Americans have been on edge, as they watched their country fall deeper into chaos.

"Sometime's you're at work and you don't want to do anything. You're just watching the TV or the Internet," said Vasyl Shymonyak, an Ukrainian American living in Raleigh.

Shymonyak said his father and brother live in Ukraine and is worried about them.

"We love them, and hopefully they won't be hurt."

Shymonyak's son is a junior at North Carolina State University; and, despite the violence, he said wants to be in Kiev, right now.

"I suppose I feel a lot of anger," Andriy Shymonyak said. "They're protesting for a reason. They want a better future and the government is not doing anything to listen to them."

Oksana Dyskevych was born and raised in Kiev, and some members of her family still live there.

"I miss home a lot, and I'm always thinking about my country. My family members are scared," she said.

At the heart of the issue is independence and perhaps, democracy.

"People want to be free," Dyskevych said.

Vasyl Shymonyak said, "I never thought this was going to happen. I saw what happened in Egypt, in Syria, but I never thought it was going to happen back home."

According to protest medical officials, more than 100 people died in the fighting Thursday alone.

Eileen Park

Eileen joined WNCN after years of working as a foreign correspondent. During her time off, she enjoys relaxing with her dogs, reading, and exploring the Triangle. More>>

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