Clashes in Ukraine felt in the Capital Region - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Clashes in Ukraine felt in the Capital Region

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Olena Sadovnik (NEWS10 ABC) Olena Sadovnik (NEWS10 ABC)
Ukranian demonstrations Ukranian demonstrations

ALBANY, N.Y. – The clashes in Ukraine are escalating, and a St. Rose student has a close connection to the people who are fighting.

Reports now show up to five people have died in the clashes that are taking place in Kiev.

Demonstrators are protesting against the nation's president Viktor Yaanukovych.

Russia reportedly lured the country's leaders with financial incentives in November to pull away from cooperation with the European Union.

Olena Sadovnik is from the Ukraine and currently studying at the College of St. Rose.

She said it feels like she is living two different lives.

"One is living here at college and the other is at home where I'm glued to my television screen," she said.

Most of Sadovnik's friends are living the nightmare that is unfolding in Ukraine as demonstrators pour into the nation's capital to protest the government and call for the resignation of Yanukovych.

"They are students like me," she said.  "Some are in school and some work.  They are not extremists or radicals."

The Ukranian Parliament recently enacted strict laws. Many believe the laws are a way to silence the protestors.

"According to those laws, we basically turned into a totalitarian state," Sadovnik said. "My Ukranian friends say I might not hear from them soon because the government might begin restricting internet usage."

Meanwhile, Sadovnik is doing everything she can to spread the word about the violence in Ukraine in the Capital Region.  She organized a rally in Albany and traveled to New York City for a demonstration there.

As for her friends living through the clashes in Ukraine, she said, "They are very spiritual and they just feel like history is taking place right now."

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