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
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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