March 4 - As tensions rise between Russia and the Ukraine, members of the large ethnic communities in New York City pray for a peaceful resolution. Jillian Kitchener reports.
Ukrainians and Russians living in New York are keeping a watchful eye on the news from Ukraine, as tensions escalate between the two countries. Ukrainian-Catholics in New York's East Village are praying for the safety of those living in their native country. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DEACON METHODIUS OF ST GEORGE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH SAYING: "I would say that the animosity is not against the Russian people because the Russian and Ukrainian people. . .and we are like, have been always, close neighbors. So, there's not [sic] against the people. I would say it's most against the, maybe, government." Political tensions remain high, after ousted Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovich fled to Russia. And with Russian forces in Crimea. This Russian-American feels Ukraine should be able to decide its future: (SOUNDBITE) (English) BORIS GILZOV, RUSSIAN-AMERICAN, SAYING: "Well, I don't know all the facts right now, but I know the Crimea has traditionally been Russian but I also feel that the Ukraine has been violated, you know, the country's been violated, so I just personally feel that probably things should be just the way they are and Ukraine should be able to decide their own destiny." Church secretary Irene Bracero is hoping the two countries can resolve their differences and live in peace. The conflict is taking a personal toll: (SOUNDBITE) (UKRAINIAN) IRENE BRACERO SAYING [ROUGH TRANSLATION]: "I worry a lot personally because I still have my family in the Ukraine. I still have my father and sister there. Every single day since this has been happening I try to contact them. I call them and ask if they are okay. I pray for them a lot." Russian President Vladimir Putin is defending Russia's actions in Crimea, saying he only would use force in Ukraine as a last resort.