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Students raise awarenss about Ukraine onflict

By Tatevik Aprikyan
Published On: Feb 20 2014 11:17:50 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 21 2014 12:41:04 AM CST

Local People Raise Awareness About Ukraine

REXBURG, Idaho -

Some students in Rexburg are taking action to raise awareness about the Ukrainian conflict.

A group of students gathered at Kiwi Loco in Rexburg this evening, making signs and talking to people about the challenges their family members face in Ukraine. Their goal is to educate eastern Idahoans about the conflict.

Many of the students were born in Ukraine, had just moved to Idaho from Ukraine or served a mission there, so this is a very personal issue to them.

Tonight their goal is to clarify misconceptions Americans have about the conflict. They say their family members have been shot at for months now, not just in recent weeks. The group also stress this is a bigger issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin wanting more control over Eastern Europe.

The signs the students were making today say, "We are with Maydan," the city at the center of the battle.

"It really hurts to see my people die over there. It is really hurts to see that I cannot do anything. Even if I were there I cannot do anything. People have no guns there, they cannot protect themselves, and it is very unfair to shoot at people who are unarmed," said Sergii Melnychuk a student who just moved here from Ukraine.

"Putin wants Ukraine to go under his sleeve like the rest of the eastern European countries, and think what that would mean to the United States and the rest of the world," said Svetlana Miller, who was born in Kiev.

The students say they worry the conflict will escalate unless people in the U.S do more to help.

They're encouraging eastern Idahoans to contact Senator Mike Crapo and let him know people here support the opposition.

The battles in Ukraine began in November and have been escalating each month since then.

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