NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – As the world watches Leo Krasnozhon worries. Krasnozhon teaches economics at Loyola University New Orleans, yet he was born in the Ukraine. His parents are still there, and while they’re safe he says other relatives are caught in the middle of the turmoil.
“They are hiding in the basement. They can’t leave the city because as far as I know the bus station is destroyed, the airport is destroyed, so they are stuck there,” explains Krasnozhon.
Krasnozhon says Ukrainians do not want to go to war, but he fears the escalating violence will lead to more.
“Most of the people are still in denial that Russia, that is supposed to be a friendly nation, occupied Crimea and now it is openly supporting pro Russian terrorists or separatists,” says Krasnozhon.
Natasha Ramer is the driving force behind Moscow Nights, an organization bringing Russian culture to New Orleans. She moved to the U.S. from Russia in 1982 and doesn’t understand where the tension is coming from.
“Russia and the Ukraine it’s like brothers, you know, they have the same religion, they have the same culture,” explains Ramer, “Right now what’s happening is just a tragic, just a tragic. I just stopped to watch. It’s very painful, and very scary.”
Like Krasnozhon, Ramer hopes a peaceful resolution will put an end to the fighting.
“I hope that they will realize that this is, this will be disaster for two countries,” says Ramer.