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Events in Ukraine a Constant Cause of Concern for NYers With Family Members Living There

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TWC News: Events in Ukraine a Constant Cause of Concern for NYers With Family Members Living There
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For New Yorkers with friends and family in Ukraine, the events unfolding there are a constant cause for concern. NY1's Jon Weinstein spoke with members of one family dealing with the danger in that country.

Marta Osadchuk lived in the city for six years, but her friends and family in Ukraine are never from her mind.

Q: The first thing you do in the morning is what?
Osadchuk: Check news, talk to my family, in particular to my brother.

Her brother, Pavlo, lives in Kiev. NY1 spoke with him and a friend via Skype about what's unfolding there. As tensions in Crimea reach a boiling point, he admitted that he's increasingly nervous and terrified about Russian President Vladimir Putin's ultimate goal.

"I'm very nervous. I can't sleep normal from this three months, maybe," Pavlo Osadchuk said. "I want to say I hate Putin."

Pavlo Osadchuk and his friend took part in the initial protests in Kiev against deposed pro-Russian President Victor Yanukovych, which chased him from the country. They showed NY1 the hard hats, goggles and gas masks that they used to protect themselves during the violence that erupted last month.

"The gas was everywhere, and they just shoot the bomb with the gas," said Iaroslav Iakubivskyi, Pavlo's friend.

"They are running around Kiev in those helmets and gas masks and, you know, you can only imagine what people like me can feel in that moment," Marta Osadchuk said.

The situation in Kiev is much calmer now, but ominously, the future of Ukraine in general is uncertain after Russian troops moved into Crimea. Pavlo Osadchuk and Iakubivskyi pointed to an international treaty signed in 1994, where the U.S., U.K. and Russia agreed to respect Ukraine's borders. They said that they hope this ends peacefully, but there's no telling what the Russians will do.

"If they will start a war against us, I just, we ask Obama to take some, I don't know, army to Ukraine to help us because we cannot do anything against Russia," Iakubivskyi said.

It's clear that as the crisis deepens, Pavlo Osadchuk and all of Marta's family in the Ukraine will be in harm's way, so Marta had a simple message for her brother.

"Just stay safe, and contact me as much as you can," Marta Osadchuk said.

Concerned words from a sister to her brother as the world and a family wait to see what happens next.

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