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Southeast Texas tie to Ukraine
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
Protests and political turmoil have stricken Eastern Ukraine and the Russian border.
It's become an argument of whether Russia will be allowed to take over parts of the Ukraine or will the Ukraine hold onto its independence and strive to continue on the road to becoming a European Democratic nation.
Some Southeast Texans have strong ties to the unstable country.
The fiery, unstable Ukraine of today is not what Uliana Trylowsky thought her country would look like after it declared independence in the 1990's.
That's when she moved to her parent's home country and met her husband.
"Right after Ukraine declared independence, I lived there and worked there for two and a half years in Kiev," Trylowsky says.
She's now the director for Habitat for Humanity in Southeast Texas.
She remembers the optimism when Ukraine become an independent country.
"There was this big feeling of euphoria for a while, oh we're going to become a European country, everything is going to be great and it stalled, it didn't go anywhere and we've had these excessive governments who were corrupt and were just stealing," Trylowsky says.
One major reason she says she's glad to see younger Ukrainians standing up to the government.
"I think they've had enough of it, you can't live this way, our economy is falling apart, the standard of living is horrible, they don't earn much money and I think they're just tired of this yolk of Russia," Trylowsky said.
And the Russian military action has her worried over the country's fate.
"Now I'm scared because I really feel that we might be looking at a split of Ukraine and what's going to happen if Russia does take Crimea, what happens, how much more territory do they want to take?" Trylowsky said.
She says it's a matter of people wanting to control their own future.
"You can't make a better lifestyle and I think you get to the point to where you just willing to go that distance, we're comfortable here, we can't even imagine that, I think there are people in the world who are ready to put their life on the line and they're tired of it," Trylowsky says.
A country whose people are willing to fight for what Trylowsky says is a basic right many take for granted.
"Human rights are being violated and they deserve to have freedom as well," Trylowsky says.
Trylowsky says she still has family in the Ukraine.
They live in the Western-most section of the country.
While they are not in immediate danger, she says they worry about the fate of their country.