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Local Ukrainians Concerned About Russian Troop Movements

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - President Obama sent a message to the Russian government Friday to stay out of the conflict in Ukraine. His comments came hours after reports that Russian troops were on the move inside the battle-torn country. Military action would come at a price, according to the President.

“It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people. It would be a clear violation of Russia’s commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine.”

The Russian government said their military exercise is allowed through their treaty with Ukraine. But for Ukrainians living in North Texas, news of possible military action comes with deep concerns.

A hunger for news from Ukraine has President of the Ukrainian American Society of Texas, Chrystya Geremesz glued to social media.

“It’s quick, it’s reliable, and it reaches a lot of people,” said Geremesz, who is a daughter of Ukrainian immigrants. Geremesz said she is concerned over news of Russian movement into her family’s homeland.

“They’re very frustrated, they’re scared, there’s provocations going on,” said Geremesz. “Russia has no business there, they have no business bringing in any military force.”

North Texas is home to an estimated 200 Ukrainian families whose community revolves around St. Sophia church in the Colony.

A priest at the church, Father Pavlov Popov said he worries Russia’s presence could divide his native country.

“That’s one of the concerns… that they gonna take over, and that they want to separate Crimea from Ukraine,” said Father Popov. He said the fight for democracy waged by everyday citizens is an inspiration to others.

“We’re being a great example for the whole world,” said Father Popov.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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