Local Russians react to Ukraine crisis
Updated On: Mar 05 2014 04:35:45 AM CST
Izzy Shakirzynov moved to the United States from southern Russia 10 years ago.
He eventually settled down in Allentown. He still visits his homeland.
Shakirzynov said he keeps up with Russian and Ukrainian newspapers to stay informed on the situation.
He describes the violence and protests in Ukraine as a fight over loyalty between Russia and Western Europe.
"Let's not forget the history. Ukraine, along with 15 other countries, used to be part of the Soviet Union," Shakirzynov said.
He said the people of Ukraine's Crimean region should be allowed to vote on which country they want to belong to.
"I think they should just hold a people's referendum. And just decide that, okay so, 50 percent vote for this point of view, 50 percent for this point of view, so let's just legal it. Separate and just go our ways," Shakirzynov said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin contends that Russians living in Crimea are also facing violence.
Shakirzynov said it's Russia's duty to protect Russian-Ukrainians.
"With the turmoil in the Ukraine, where there is a humongous amount of Russian people. Russia will have to make some moves. It cannot stay indifferent to the situation," Shakirzynov said.
While some believe it would be invasive and unlawful for Russian troops to settle on Ukrainian land, Shakirzynov said it would likely help.
"From my point of view, Russia is not there to implement its will, but rather to help… If there is going to be no involvement, I believe it will only be more victims, more chaos," Shakirzynov said.
Shakirzynov said he's hopeful it will eventually end peacefully, but he fears it will get worse before it gets better.
Copyright 2014 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Wilson man dead after chase, police-involved shooting
Foul language may stop plans to rename ASD field for Andre Reed
Tractor trailer accident stops traffic on Route 422
Police: Man provides false information about Eric Frein
Police: Deaths of 2 men inside car a murder-suicide
Deadly shooting shatters quiet at Washington school
Thousands of dollars raised for man repeatedly mistaken for Eric Frein
Restaurant owners distraught over plans to condemn property
Family makes plea for help to save their puppy
Berks attractions on list of top 100 events in North America