The Sacramento area is home to more than 50,000 Ukrainians like Stephan and Vlad Skots, who emigrated from western Ukraine in the late 90’s and have been spending the past few days worrying about family and waiting for the United States to act.
“I call to my parents every morning,” Vlad said. “They are really scared. They don’t know what to expect because nobody know what to expect from Putin.”
Thursday, western-learning Ukrainians rejoiced over President Obama’s plan for sanctions and visa restrictions on Russians and Ukrainians who contributed to Russia’s takeover in Crimea.
The Skots want the US to go even further.
“We need your help. Maybe this one right now is not enough. We need more help to stop Ukrainians stop war,” Stephan said.
Vlad said more troops could be the answer.
The Skots say Ukrainians’ ability to protect themselves has been weakened after overthrowing their pro-Russian president. They believe Putin is taking advantage of that weakness like a bully.
Lawmakers in Crimea unanimously declared they wanted to join Russia, and will put the decision before voters on March 16. President Obama and the Skots say the vote will never be legal or supported.
“Regular people don’t support it,” Vlad said.