At midnight tonight, a bus of Ukrainian-Americans is scheduled to depart the St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio, and head for Washington, D.C.
They're planning to demonstrate outside the White House, to ask President Obama to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Nadiya Petriv, a 18-year old Ukrainian-American, will be among those on the bus. She and Tamara Denysenko, former CEO of the Ukrainian Federal Credit Union in Rochester, join Here & Now's Robin Young to share their views.
Tamara Denysenko on hosting Ukrainians in Rochester through an exchange program
"I always make sure we have Ukrainian Day, so that they can see what an ethnic community or Ukrainian — any community-- can do in a democratic nation. One young man was crying when he saw, from Dnipropetrovsk (ph) that we had Ukrainian School, that kids were able to do whatever they wanted to do. And promote their culture and their language, and that is something — to me, it’s unusual that in Ukraine, the native population cannot be Ukrainian."
Denysenko on her concerns for Ukraine
"Yatsenyuk, the current prime minister, said that there is no way that he will permit dividing the country or having the Crimea join Russia. And I am concerned. Everybody says, 'Well, it’s Mr. Putin who’s doing it.' But my concern is if he did not have thousands, hundreds and millions of people behind him with the same ideas, one man would not have been able to do such an invasion."
Nadiya Petriv on what it's been like to watch the crisis from afar
"It's hard to believe. You can't even imagine that some place where you were during the summer, peaceful and no problems at all, would be turned into a war zone. But now, I think, after this, the country has been more united than it has ever been."
Note: The Cleveland Maidan Committee of the United Ukrainian Organization of Ohio is holding a benefit concert on Saturday, March 15 at 7:30pm at St. Andrew Ukrainian Catholic Church, 7700 Hoertz Road, Parma, Ohio.
- Nadiya Petriv, a 18-year old Ukrainian-American.
- Tamara Denysenko, former CEO of the Ukrainian Federal Credit Union in Rochester.
This segment aired on March 5, 2014.