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July 18, 2014 10:01 PM

SF Man From Ukraine Calls Plane Crash A 'Tragedy'

Sioux Falls, SD

President Barack Obama has called for a, "credible international investigation," into what happened with a Malaysian airplane that went down, killing 298 people. The U.S. strongly suspects the plane was shot down by a surface to air missile, "operated from a separatist-held location in eastern Ukraine," .

19-year-old David Koval, who is originally from Ukraine, calls the plane crash a tragedy.

"They weren't involved with Russia or Ukraine in any way. It's just kind of sad to hear something like that happen to innocent people," Koval said.

An only child, Koval and his parents moved here when he was just three and half years old. He has been worried about the family members who still live there -- just a few hours away from the crash site.

"The prayer and the Bible. So, it's just, I mean, it's all we can do over here, really," Koval said.

People all over the world have been watching Ukraine for the last few months, as the country has become divided. Some wonder whether the country should be more aligned with the European Union and the West. Others feel it should remain closely aligned with Russia. 

"Personally, I think before things can get better, they're going to get worse first. This is kind of just the beginning," Koval said.

Koval said Sioux Falls has a Ukrainian population of about 2,000. He also has noticed the tension in the country is finding its way here.

"My mom -- one of her friends, right? They were from West Ukraine, and my mom's from East Ukraine. Once they started talking about this, right, they kind of got angry at each other; stopped talking. That's been happening a lot to other people here, too," Koval said.

Whether or not this plane crash a direct result of tension between two sides, remains to be seen. Aviation experts say the plane's wreckage needs to be examined for evidence to prove if it was punctured by a missle.

It is unknown-- if and when-- international investigators will be allowed to survey the site.

"I just hope they find out who did that and just get justice for those people who died in that plane crash. That's the most important thing right now," Koval said.

  • News
  • General
  • Sioux Falls, SD
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