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Boston-Area Ukrainians Rally In Support Of Their Homeland

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BOSTON (CBS) – Secretary of State John Kerry monitored events in Ukraine from Boston Sunday and warned the Russians over their military invasion of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

Kerry’s words were what local Ukrainians wanted to hear.

Sunday afternoon at Faneuil there was a rally of local Ukrainians. The Russian troop movement has increased the fear and anxiety for Ukrainians living in the Hub.

At the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Jamaica Plain, there were songs about faith from a congregation with little faith in their old neighbor.

“I don’t think the Russia leadership has changed much,” Peter Kiziuk told WBZ-TV’s Bree Sison. “It’s basically the same guy in a new suit.”

Nadia Mykolayevych believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is about power and what he can get away with. She came to church for comfort in a time of crisis.

“I needed to do it as part of the community and right now it’s that feeling of helplessness,” she said.

Many Bostonians with Ukrainian heritage are the children of World War II refugees and say the country has long been the target of aggression.

“Here we go again, a bully country trying to take over a country that’s striving for freedom,” Zenon Cybriwski said.

Live from Boston on CBS’ Face the Nation, Kerry seemed confident there are diplomatic ways to help the people of Ukraine.

“I think Russia needs to think very carefully about the choice it is making,” Kerry said. “There are visa bans, there are asset freezes, there’s isolation with respect to trade and investment.”

Kerry delivered a strong message on behalf of the Obama administration.

“If Russia wants to be a G8 country, it needs to behave like a G8 country,” he said.

Those were welcome comments for local Ukrainians such as Kiziuk. “Take the initiative in kicking Russia out of the G8,” he said. “That would be a pretty good first step.”

New England Ukrainians are hoping the world will sit up and take notice.

“There wasn’t much attention to Ukraine or really a good understanding of what was going on,” Mykolayevych said.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

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