Ukrainian community deeply worried

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Latvia’s resident Ukrainian ethnic minority community is extremely worried for its homeland, reported Latvian Television news program Panorāma, which briefly interviewed some of its members Thursday.

It’s difficult for many to watch the unfolding of events in Ukraine. For some the experience is so hard to take, that they shied from the chance to speak to the television camera.

On their part journalist Jeļena Fedorova and Latvia’s Ukrainian Congress leader Mikola Pavļuks strongly condemned Russia’s actions.

“At this time I would really like to hear Russia’s official position. Why is the invasion happening? Whom are they freeing? How does this invasion help Ukraine? I think Putin’s strategic plan is to find an overland route to Crimea, as the winter approaches and products and other help need to be transported there. Strategically this is the most convenient moment to break through. They chose the time when Ukraine is most weak,” Fedorova told Panorāma.

Pavļuks vowed that "we will picket at the US, French and German embassies. Ukraine has disarmed! Why is there such a situation in the Ukrainian army? Because it didn’t intend to fight a war, it gave up its weapons in good will. You understand there are guarantees you promised! Why does the whole world just look on at what’s happening? You know this could happen with any country, because Putin spits upon international agreements and rights. He’s drawn the line across everything and now nobody can give anyone any guarantees.”

“There’s hope that the EU, the US and Canada will help, though it’s hard to believe this. This is all very painful for me, but what to do? We’ll fight, and if necessary, create international battalions to defend Ukraine, because we Ukrainians care what happens there, we do not want the aggressor and Russians to trample Ukrainian soil and kill Ukrainians,” Pavļuks stressed.

In May of this year the Ukrainian Congress of Latvia petitioned the Justice Ministry to declare the political activities of Latvia’s Russian Union and its leader Tatjana Ždanoka as anti-constitutional, in so far as they are directed against Latvia’s independence and territorial integrity. Moreover, Ždanoka’s travel to Crimea and statements of support for Russian separatists are further grounds for banning the party from participating in Latvia’s democratic polity, the Ukrainian Congress stated in its May 20 submission to then-minister Baiba Broka.


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