SAN DIEGO - "This is a big, big day," said Mikhail Golovnya.
Working from his office in Kearny Mesa, Golovnya reflected on the downing of a civilian jetliner in his home country of Ukraine.
"I'm sad to say but this looks like it's a wake-up call to first, all in the European Union and also the rest of the west," he said.
Golovnya, a former reserve officer in Ukraine, came to San Diego in 1999.
His sister Anna Kulyk, who is in Ukraine, said over Skype that the situation deteriorates every day.
"I don't know when I wake up every day what I will face," she said.
Kulyk lives about 30 miles from the Russian border.
Like her brother in San Diego, Kulyk hopes that out of this tragedy the world will listen to what has gone on for months.
"I hope after that … after such a big tragedy that they will hear us," she said.