Local Ukrainian leaders share concerns about tensions in Russia

(WKBN) – Tensions continue to rise as Russia threatens to invade Ukraine. The United States is also preparing to get involved, leaving local Ukrainians in fear of what might happen.

Two local Ukrainian church leaders shared their concerns.

“Our church is very saddened by what is happening in Ukraine right now,” Sts. Peter and Paul Pastors of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Father Ivan Tchopko.

This situation reminds Father Ivan of Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014. He says that parishioners of his church do not want similar events to happen.

“All of them are related or are Ukrainian and some of them were born and raised in Ukraine. We pray and say more and do more, truly, prayer for Ukraine,” Tchopko said.

Father Lubomir Zhybak is pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic Trinity Church.

His wife’s family lives in western Ukraine, far from the Russian border. However, he said they are still concerned.

“There is uncertainty. You don’t know if the Russians will invade, will they invade the capital of Ukraine? all possible scenarios,” said Zhybak.

Both pastors want no war to take place at all.

Neither did Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. However, he said a message must be sent to Russia before they invade.

“Your economy will feel the wrath of US sanctions aimed at banks, other corporations and Putin,” Brown said.

Last week, around 8,500 American soldiers were put on alert for a possible deployment in Eastern Europe. If and when they will be sent is still unclear.

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