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Ukrainians in Sioux Falls 'Praying' For Resolution

March 3, 2014, 10:04 PM by Brady Mallory

Ukrainians in Sioux Falls 'Praying' For Resolution

Tensions half way around the world are being felt here in KELOLAND.  Russian troops who invaded Ukraine's Crimea region over the weekend have set a deadline - telling Ukrainian troops to surrender by Monday night or face a military attack. 

The escalating situation is not what 25-year-old Alex Danilko remembers about his home country.  He and his family moved to Sioux Falls when he was just 13 years old.

"We lived in (a) village.  You know, you just kind of mostly farm and feed yourself from stuff you grow on the farm," Danilko said.

Right now, Ukraine is essentially 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.

"It could start World War III.  That's what a lot of critics and analysts are saying," Danilko said.

After seeing photos and videos of the Russian troops, Danilko immediately thought about his grandparents and cousins; loved ones who live in the Northwestern part of the country.  There are 140 Ukrainian congregation members at his church Sioux Falls, and he notes the same number of Ukrainians attend a different church in the city.  Everyone is watching and waiting.

"Everybody is worried about it.  Everyone has families back home and we're all praying about it and trying to support them and figure out ways to help them out -- other people still in Ukraine," Danilko said.

President Obama and some European leaders have warned Russia against the use of military intervention in Ukraine and have accused Russia of violating another nation's sovereignty.

"So far, it looks to be good on my side, or the way I see it, they're trying a diplomatic way to resolve conflict," Danilko said.  "Right now, it's so unpredictable.  Nobody knows what's going to happen next hour, or two."

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