President Barack Obama says there will be consequences if the truce between Ukraine's president and leaders of a protest movement does not stop the violence there. NY1's Agnes Chung spoke with New Yorkers with ties to Ukraine about the latest developments. She filed the following report.
Pavlo Kaidan has been watching the Ukrainian news while he works his shift at Veselka restaurant in the East Village. He says he worries for his mom, who is in back in Ukraine and has been actively protesting against the government.
"What she says, the people not going to give up, and they're not going to go home," Kaidan said. "Even if they bring the military, even if the government bring the military people and all the police forces, they're not going to give up. They're going to fight."
Clashes between the government and demonstrators left at least 26 dead Tuesday. The Ukrainian government announced a truce with its opposition Wednesday, saying that they hope to have negotiations that lead to stability in the country, but many Ukrainian Americans say they are not convinced.
Iryna Vitkovoka, Sunset Park resident: Even if they negotiate, I don't think they will keep their promises.
Chung: How come? Why don't you trust the government?
Vitkovoka: They already proved in the past that they couldn't be trusted.
"Nobody trust the government. Nobody trust the president. Nobody believe. Nobody believe in peace now," said another person.
The protests began when the Ukrainian people disagreed with their president's decision to reverse a trade deal with the European Union and lean toward Russia, but Ukrainian filmmaker Roxy Toporowych says that the issue has evolved beyond that.
"It started being about joining the European Union, but what it is right now, it's about basic human rights," Toporowych said.
Many say that they hope the United States will invoke sanctions against the Ukrainian government's top officials in order to force their hand.
"Nobody wants a war. Nobody wants to see people fighting. Nobody wants to see people killed," Toporowych said. "But I do truly believe that until the president resigns and leaves office, that this may not end well."
The Ukrainian Americans NY1 spoke with say that they have been collecting money and warm clothes to send back to their families in Ukraine to help them through this chaotic time in their country.