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Local Ukrainians distraught over conflict overseas

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 03 2014 04:35:23 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 03 2014 05:41:56 PM CST

The deadly conflict in Ukraine has many distraught locally, especially those with family living overseas amidst the turmoil.

READING, Pa. -

The deadly conflict in Ukraine has many distraught locally, especially those with family living overseas amidst the turmoil.

"I can actually see from their faces how sad, how concerned they are," said Father Andriy Rabiy, speaking of his 100+ Ukrainian families who belong to his church in Reading, Nativity of BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Rabiy said members of the Laurel Street church have been regularly praying for peace overseas.

"The word 'worry' doesn't even describe that… it's always kind of on the mind," said Rabiy. "I'm sure many people feel the same way as to what's going to happen next."

It's an outcome that's frighteningly unpredictable, as deadly protests and demonstrations plague the country. The outrage began back in November, when former-president Viktor Yanukovych sought to build closer ties with Russia, a decision supported by some, and strongly opposed by others.

Now, Yanukovych has since been ousted and Ukraine runs the risk of Russian military intervention.

"I think there are hardly any people that want Russia to move into Ukraine," said Rabiy. "We are praying to keep [Ukraine] as a whole and not to be divided into parts."