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Local Md. Ukrainians Fear Armed Russian Invasion Could Lead To War

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Ileto Christie 370x278 (2) Christie Ileto
Christie Ileto joined WJZ's News Team in the fall of 2012. She was...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Ukrainian community is watching the escalating turmoil in their country, as President Obama fires a warning shot at the Russian government.

Christie Ileto has more.

Frightened and outraged. That’s how Ukrainian activists in Baltimore are describing the unrest in their homeland.

Armed Russian troops move into Crimea, Ukraine, prompting fears of an invasion and a quick response from the White House.

President Obama sternly warns Russia of the consequences.

“The United States will stand with the international community in affirming there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine,” the president said.

Russia does have a naval base in the Crimean peninsula, but this latest military advance follows weeks of violent protests in Kiev and an impeached Ukrainian president who recently fled to Russia.

For the last several days, Russian President Putin has assured the U.S. he supports a unified Ukraine. But what happened Friday evening is sending a different message to the world.

Ukrainian activists in Baltimore aren’t buying it.

“We’re looking for stability, we’re interested in only one thing–stability,” an activist said. “We’re interested in Mr. Putin keeping his hands off Ukraine and not looking for a provocation, which is exactly what he’s doing right at this moment.”

Some fear this could lead to war.

Dr. Nazar Kalivoshko can only watch anxiously with his parents back in Ukraine.

“Everybody’s terrified. I’ve been in contact with them via Facebook, emailing,” he said.

And with tensions mounting, many hope Friday’s invasion isn’t the start of something worse.

“Enough is enough! This country just wants to live free and just be happy,” Kalivoshko said.

Prayer services for peace are being organized for the weekend.

Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in 1994 in exchange for guaranteed sovereignty.

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