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Local Ukrainians react to Kiev violence

Irondequoit, N.Y. -- The news of deadly protests in Kiev has captured the attention of the local Ukrainian community.

Walter Zacharkiw's parents are from Ukraine. He still has family and friends who are near Kiev.

Zacharkiw said he's been following events unfold since November, before things took a violent turn.

He's been paying very close attention the only way he can, which is through a YouTube channel because the country's only democratic, non-government TV station has been shut down.

I'm very worried. I'm very frustrated that we're in the 21st century and communism has shed its wings for over 20 years, Zacharkiw said. Basic freedoms that we take for granted -- freedom of speech, freedom of assembly -- have been annihilated, just destroyed. It's my fear that it's going to escalate to further conflict.

Zacharkiw's church, St. Josaphat's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Irondequoit, lit a candle as a measure of solidarity, standing with those in the middle of conflict.

The church said the candle will remain lit until there is a peaceful resolution.

Other groups in the community are reaching out to those overseas.

The Ukrainian National Women's League of America is collecting funds to help those on the streets of Kiev.


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Washington Times