Ukrainian Crisis Hits Omaha Woman Close To Home - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

Ukrainian Crisis Hits Omaha Woman Close To Home

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OMAHA (KPTM)- One look inside 80-year-old Olesia Repichowskyj's home and it's not hard to find her Ukrainian roots.

"This was made in 1912," said Repichowskyj clutching a hand-knitted cloth called a ‘rushynk.' It's used in Ukrainian culture for many different things, including protection.

She said it protects her home, but not her homeland right now. "It still hurts you to have your people suffer," said Repichowskyj.

She's seen a lot of suffering lately in the Ukraine after a deadly revolt and now Russians invading.

"Ukraine has suffered so much over the centuries, this is just one example! What Russia is doing to us," said Repichowskyj.

Reports surfaced Sunday that Russian forces invaded Crimea, a peninsula of Ukraine.  According to CNN, 6,000 Russian ground and naval forces are in the region.  According to reports, Russian troops have surrounded Ukrainian military bases, demanding for surrender.

"Putin wants to create another empire, and without Ukraine he cannot do that. He has to have Ukraine under his domination," said Repichowskyj.

She said the deadly protest in Kiev last month were her people wanting freedom. "People just want to live free," said Repichowskyj. "They just want a different kind of life."

She said she was fortunate to have been given a chance at a free life when her family moved to the United States in 1945. She said her family members had been separated at work camps during World War II, and were able to reunite.

"American's don't realize what a wonderful country they live in, it's the only place they can walk and nobody gives a darn," said Repichowskyj.

She said she hopes her people in Ukraine will get the chance to know what freedom is like.

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