Local Woman Travels Back to Ukraine

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Updated: 4/21/2014 10:44 pm

The situation in Ukraine isn't getting any better as Russia continues to move soldiers in, we get a local woman’s take on what is happening in her home city of Kiev.  

Svetlana Miller moved to the United States when she was 17 years old, but Ukraine is still her home. She took a trip back to Kiev last week, and we met up with her today to hear just how bad things have gotten for her friends and family still stuck in the middle of it all.

“You drive through the city today and all the billboards are filled with faces of people who were never found,” said Miller, of the change from the usual pristine advertisements.

Burned buildings and shattered glass, the evidence of the struggle so many are facing as they finally overthrew one government, just to become Russia’s President Putin’s pawn.  

“He is rebuilding the former Soviet Union, he wants all that power back and he started with Ukraine so it’s… it’s awful. It’s devastating. People never thought this would happen,” added Miller.

Every day brings new destruction, but the burning of the freedom fighters makeshift hospitals is a new level of devastation .

“It’s 2014, they burned to the ground the buildings with doctors and wounded people, we don’t even know how many people, hundreds died.”

Lana’s friends and family have kept her up to date with new developments, like the mobilization of all Ukrainian men. But nothing could prepare her for the harsh reality of Ukraine’s chances on their own. With no money to begin building an effective army, they have no choice other than to call on unarmed, untrained troops.

“If Russia were to attack and start shooting, they would all be dead. We don’t stand a chance against Russia on our own. There are people in jeans and t-shirts, boys 17 to 50… they are out there, they’re fighting, they have nowhere else to go, it’s home.”

Lana works as a coordinator for a study abroad program for eastern Ukrainians trying to come to American universities and she said families are scrambling trying to come up with enough money to send their children to the states right now. Since the Ukrainian currency has fallen from 8 hryvnia to 12 to the U.S. dollar, it’s getting harder and harder for them to seek safety.

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