By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – Russia released new video Monday showing military exercises near the Ukrainian border. Roughly 100,000 Russian troops are deployed on three sides of Ukraine despite Russia denying its’s preparing to invade.

Several thousand US troops and equipment are on standby – ready to reinforce the eastern flank of NATO if needed.

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It’s an understandably emotional time for local Ukrainians here; even on the other side of the world – they’re drawing strength and hope from a long history of perseverance.

“The Ukrainians in general are peaceful people,” said Vsevolod Petriv, the Boston president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. They’ve been meeting with our congressional leaders to discuss the need for significant and meaningful action.

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“The more we do now to stop that aggression will prevent in the future, the need for more U.S. commitment and troops later,” Petriv said.

Between the pandemic and this mounting tension – peaceful healthy visits with loved ones there feels far away.

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“It is to me inevitable that Ukraine will be an independent nation over time,” Petriv said. “What weighs on me is how much pain, sadness and devastation may happen in the course of getting there.”

Juli McDonald