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Valley Ukrainians Worried about Growing Crisis

It's been 15 years since Vladimir Ostatnigrosh left Ukraine his home country, and never did he imagine it would be on the brink of war.

Ostatnigrosh says, "It could happen any minute."

Ostatnigrosh lives in Fresno now and owns the Fresno fencing Academy but much of his family still lives in Ukraine.

"They are all worried about the situation they don't know what will happen tomorrow," says Ostatnigrosh.

Ostatnigrosh spends his days glued to his tablet watching live Ukrainian TV and keeping up with social media; unsure of what's to come, but fearful that it could spread worldwide.

"I told people it could be like the third world war," says Ostatnigrosh.

So far, the Russian invasion only extends into Crimea, a predominately Russian-speaking area, but there's no telling how much control President Vladimir Putin wants.  Michelle DenBeste, a Russian history professor at Fresno State, says she doesn't anticipate another Cold War, but says the U.S. should be careful.

Dr. DenBeste says, " I think its not helpful at this point for us to be going 'well you can't do this, you can't do that' because it's just going to push him to say 'yes I can.'"

 Fresno State student Russell Berndt has also been following the situation closely. He used to live in Crimea and still has friends there.

Berndt says, "People are kind of annoyed and feel that they've been betrayed that Russia has invaded them."

Berndt also says some of his American friends have been moved out of Crimea and into other parts of Ukraine, as the area is now deemed unsafe for Americans.
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