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Local Ukrainian Community Angered By Violence

Updated: Thursday, February 20 2014, 03:25 PM EST
The violent rioting in the Ukraine hits close to home for many here in the mountains.

The growing Ukrainian-American community is concerned about the deadly clash that began Tuesday night.

Vasiliy Draka is the office manager at Madison Insurance in West Asheville. On the day after the riots erupted, it was anything but business as usual.

"It's like civil war and you can see buildings burning," Draka tells us. "People crying, bleeding you know."

Draka is the former head of the Slavic Resources Center in Asheville. He fled his country two decades ago to escape religious persecution.
   
"You know you can have normal life, and have some freedom like we have here," Draka says. "That's what Ukrainians are fighting for now."

He watches Ukrainian television reports in horror, as the nation's leadership cracks down on anti-government protesters.
   
"I'm totally supporting the other side, because corruption is bad," he tells us. "People are gonna stand up. Government is gonna have no other choice but sit down and deal with it."

Draka holds out hope for a peaceful resolution as he tries to stay focused on his job.   

"It's hard not to think about," he says. "No matter what this is part of my life. I grow up there and live there, I need to be involved no matter what."
Local Ukrainian Community Angered By Violence


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