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Local Russians speak out against attack on Ukraine

'I’m ashamed of what’s going on'
Posted at 7:43 PM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 22:43:26-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Some members of the Russian community in San Diego said they disapprove of Vladimir Putin's attack in Ukraine.

“It’s sad to see that. It’s probably the first time I’m ashamed of what’s going on," Anatoly Devyataykin said.

Devyataykin was born and raised in Russia. He moved to San Diego in 2014.

He still has family in Russia and Ukraine. He said both sides are on edge about the attack.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty. They’re scared. They’re terrified. They don’t know what’s going to happen," Devyataykin said.

It’s the same feelings that had Devyataykin up all night after Putin announced plans to invade Ukraine.

In his speech, Putin said his attack was necessary to protect people in eastern Ukraine, but Devyataykin said he doesn’t buy it.

“The only reason I believe it’s political and it’s Putin's choice, and it’s his moment," Devyataykin said.

Devyataykin said he believes there’s a difference in what Putin wants versus what the Russian people want. He said their desire is peace, not war.

”His [Putin's] actions are not the Russian people’s actions," Devyataykin said. “I don’t know anyone who wants this war… who supports it.”

Sergey Dmitriev's father is Russian and his mother is Ukrainian.

“I’m half-half so half-Ukrainian, half-Russian. That’s especially saddening for me," Dmitriev said.

He said it’s like that for a lot of people in the neighboring countries.

“Everybody’s married to everyone," Dmitriev said.

That’s why Dmitriev believes the countries should be united instead of the long-standing tension between the two.

“Like propaganda on both sides make people choose very radical views," Dmitriev said.

Dmitriev said he doesn’t support Putin's decision to invade Ukraine.

“No reason can be enough to justify... essentially the war or bombing of another state," Dmitriev said.

But Dmitriev admits he feels helpless and says he isn’t sure if things will ever get better.

“Russians are not Putin and that’s true, but still, we allow this to happen. We’re too scared of acting," Dmitriev said.