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Ukrainian-Americans in San Diego react to rising tension at Ukrainian border

Russia Ukraine
Posted at 12:13 AM, Feb 13, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Tensions continue to build at the Ukrainian border with intelligence leaders telling Americans to leave the country and President Biden talking to Russian President Vladamir Putin.

“I don’t think that conversation changed anything fundamental. Both sides have hardened in their position,” said Erik Gartzke, UCSD political science professor.

He says President Putin is doing all this because he wants NATO to promise Ukraine will not be added to the list of allies.

“Russia’s looking at this boat leaving the harbor or train leaving the station and thinking they have to act soon or it will be too late. The world that they don't want will come to pass and they’ll be stuck with it,” said Gartzke.

Nadia Haywas has family in Ukraine and she’s traveled to the country multiple times to visit family and volunteer.

“There seriousness of the situation is something that we all need to understand,” she said.

She said the heightened tension makes her very fearful for her loved ones.

“They’re worried. They’re gathering belongings. They’re gathering mostly important documents but they’re trying to go on with their lives,” said Haywas.

Intelligence officials said Putin could give the more than 100,000 troops stationed at the border the greenlight at any time.

The Russian president claims he doesn’t have intentions to invade.

Haywas said if an invasion happens— she is willing to house her Ukrainian family members.

“I don’t want that to happen. My family has gone through world war ii. We’ve sponsored immigrants. We’ve assisted immigrants. I don’t want this to happen again. I want my family and other families in Ukraine to continue living in their country and continue having their freedoms and living the life they would like to have,” said Haywas.