SIU assistant professor give firsthand look of Crimean Peninsula - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU assistant professor give firsthand look of Crimean Peninsula

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The escalating conflict between Ukraine and Russia has many people keeping a close eye on the moves being made near the Crimean Peninsula.

That is where Ukrainian soldiers and Russian soldiers have been in a face off over the past few weeks.

An associate professor for the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv is giving people in southern Illinois a firsthand look at the situation.

Dr. Katerina Sirinyok-Dolgaryova is a Fulbright Scholar at Southern Illinois University and an Assistant Professor in the Journalism Department at Zaporizhzhya National University.

"Everybody should care, because if Russia does do this, that opens opportunities for Russia," Dr. Sirinyok-Dolgaryova said. "And for other countries like Russia, like a middle eastern country to do what they want and not really care what other world countries say about that."

The new Ukranian government has only been in office for just more than two weeks now. After massive public protests sent the former president Viktor Yanukovych out of his office.

"If we don't do anything right now, If we don't stop this aggression it can spread everywhere. Russia stepped in at a very fragile moment for Ukraine. They tried to take advantage of this situation that is not stable."

Now Dr. Sirinyok-Dolgaryova fears for her family and friends back home in Gulyaypole, Zaporiz'Ka Oblast.

"I really care about my country because it's only been 23 years since Ukraine got real independence. And many people there are feeling that they should save their country and be united. And be independent for many years to come. So I do think everybody should help us," Dr. Sirinyok-Dolgaryova said. "Ukraine is right in the middle of Europe and 45 million people live there. That's 45 million that would be refugees in the case of a war. And that would be unstable and not only in Europe. I don't even want to think about that problem. That would be a huge terrible problem for the whole world."

Dr. Sirinyok-Dolgaryova's lecture on Ukrainian Independence: Ongoing Rally, on the SIU campus was sponsored by the United Nations Association of the United States of America, Southern Illinois Chapter.

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