Events in Ukraine worry local community

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – At St. Anne’s Ukrainian Festival Sunday, it was an opportunity for people to learn about Ukrainian culture.

Some who attended the festival are Ukrainian and although it was a joyous time, it is hard not to think about what’s going on back in their native land.

Serhiy Kozachuck left Ukraine four years ago before the current crisis. He and his wife are considered refugees, but his son is still there. They are trying to bring him to the United State but are being told they can’t because they are not American citizens.

Kozachuck is trying to gain citizenship in the U.S. but as he does that, he worries about his son. Though things are safe where his son is now, it’s tough to tell what the coming days may bring.

“Maybe tomorrow it starts war all over Ukraine,” Kozachuck said.

Those in the local Ukrainian community said the country has a long history of hard times. Gregory Lerman immigrated to the U.S. 20 years ago from Ukraine. He watches the situation closely and helps people who are still there.

Leman is happy his kids can have a future unlike some of their former classmates who are still there.

“Only a few survive over there and finish college,” Leman said.

And that is a fact that fuels Kozachuck’s resolve to bring his son to the United States.

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