Mid-Michigan Ukrainians worried about homeland - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Mid-Michigan Ukrainians worried about homeland

Posted: Updated:
MT. MORRIS TOWNSHIP (WJRT) -

(02/19/14) - Officials in Ukraine are making it clear that the country's army is ready to act against anti-government protesters.

The violence is the worst in nearly three months of anti-government protests that have paralyzed the capital, Kiev.

The Ukrainian community in the Flint area is keeping a close eye on the situation. Ukrainians began to move into the Flint area soon after World War II to work in General Motors auto plants. Through the years, they have maintained contact with friends and relatives in Ukraine.

Ukrainians built St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church in Mt. Morris Township and it's a center of their lives. The unrest is causing concern here at home.

"It's at the point where people that I discussed it with are basically saying we have no recourse. We either have freedom or we're going to be dead," said Nyk Bartkiw of Flushing.

Bartkiw's parents were born in Ukraine and he has visited his ancestral nation, including once in 2004 as election observer. What he's hearing from loved ones there is frightening.

"Protests in Ukraine are no longer allowed. Anybody who protests or gathers, you have ten years to fifteen years or imprisonment," Bartkiw said.

Those daring to stand up to the government of President Yanukovych are being treated harshly.

"People are abducted, imprisoned, beaten, start disappearing," Bartkiw said.

While most of the disturbances and demonstrations are in the capital city of Kiev, Bartkiw says he's hearing from his contacts that the pro-democracy push is being felt in the other parts of the country too. But the situation is still precarious. And he knows they're concerned.

"You'd have to be out of touch with reality not to be worried for safety," Bartkiw said.

He hopes the European Union can impose sanctions that will restore order.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Commuters anticipate delays with upcoming I-75 construction

    Commuters anticipate delays with upcoming I-75 construction

    Friday, April 18 2014 6:45 PM EDT2014-04-18 22:45:17 GMT
    Davison resident Andrew Hall has had enough of winter driving conditions. Now it's time for the warm weather "hazards".    "I lived in Michigan all my life and it's that time of year. The snow goes
    Davison resident Andrew Hall has had enough of winter driving conditions. Now it's time for the warm weather "hazards".
  • Names release in plane crash in Shiawassee County kills two men

    Names release in plane crash in Shiawassee County kills two men

    Names release in plane crash in Shiawassee County kills two men

    Sunday, April 20 2014 1:03 PM EDT2014-04-20 17:03:44 GMT
    (04/19/2014) - A plane crashed in Shiawassee County Saturday afternoon around 2:00 p.m. The plane went down in a field on M-13 and Potter Road. That is just near the Genesee County border. The Shiawassee County sheriff says two men died in the crash. According to online records, the plane was a two seater, single engine, and propeller powered. It was a replica of a Russian military plane. The plane is registered to Haywards Aviation in Vassar, Tuscola County. A pilot from the scene told ABC1...
    (04/19/2014) - A plane crashed in Shiawassee County Saturday afternoon around 2:00 p.m. The plane went down in a field on M-13 and Potter Road. That is just near the Genesee County border. The Shiawassee County sheriff says two men died in the crash. According to online records, the plane was a two seater, single engine, and propeller powered. It was a replica of a Russian military plane. The plane is registered to Haywards Aviation in Vassar, Tuscola County. A pilot from the scene told ABC1...
  • Bomb Squad called for a grenade found in Flint garden

    Bomb Squad called for a grenade found in Flint garden

    Sunday, April 20 2014 11:42 AM EDT2014-04-20 15:42:04 GMT
    (4/20/14)- There were some scary moments in a Flint neighborhood when someone found a hand grenade.
    (4/20/14)- There were some scary moments in a Flint neighborhood when someone found a hand grenade.
Powered by WorldNow

abc12.com

ABC12 Main Station
810-233-3130

Mailing Address:
2302 Lapeer Road
Flint, Michigan 48503

Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WJRT. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.