Chicago Ukrainian Community Activists Say Russian Invasion of Ukraine Is Imminent and U.S. Must Intervene Quickly – CBS Chicago

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CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS News) – President Joe Biden on Tuesday said Russian invasion was underway in Ukraineand announced new sanctions against Russia following recent actions by President Vladimir Putin.

“This is the start of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, … so I’m going to start imposing sanctions in response,” Biden said at the White House, responding to Putin’s decision to send troops. “peacekeeping” forces in eastern Ukraine. breakaway regions hours after officially recognizing Luhansk and Donetsk as independent from Ukraine on Monday.

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Mr Biden said the sanctions, closely coordinated with allies and partners, will target two major banks in Russia and its sovereign debt.

“It means we have cut off the Russian government from Western funding,” the president said.

CBS 2’s Steven Graves spoke Tuesday with two women who consider themselves activists in Chicago’s Ukrainian community. Both said a full Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine and beyond was imminent, and said the United States must act quickly – because this conflict affects us at home too.

From Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood, Chrystya Wereszczak has watched every development in Ukraine closer than most.

“My peers, my children, my grandchildren – we all relate to Ukraine in a way that is probably hard for others to understand,” Wereszczak said.

There is fear, but also resilience and faith among the city’s population of around 50,000 Ukrainians – many of whom pray constantly in their parishes.

“But I think the miscalculation would be in the zeal of the Ukrainian people,” Wereszczak said.

She said that with Russian President Putin’s declaration of independence for the two breakaway regions, full invasion is not a question – but a certainty.

“It’s pretty obvious that we’ve gotten to the point where there’s no going back right now,” Wereszczak said. “War is imminent.”

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While President Biden has announced that sanctions against Russia are coming, in Wereszczak’s mind, there must be more – and other countries too.

“Don’t wait – it has to happen now,” she said.

“We can’t wait for there to be blood in the streets,” added Marta Farion.

Farion, also from Ukrainian Village, was in Ukraine to see the aftermath of the 2014 revolution, when thousands of people died fighting for their country.

“And they’re all wonderful, talented, educated, dedicated idealistic people,” she said.

Farion sees that the most effective sanctions in this latest push and pull will be harsh economic sanctions.

“If you follow the money, you’ll find out the truth, usually,” she said.

Farion says the effects cross borders beyond eastern Ukraine into the United States and beyond.

“Not just on oil prices, but on the attack on democracy around the world,” she said.

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The women said that from now on it is easy to keep in touch with loved ones in Ukraine, but if tensions escalate, avenues like social media could be significantly affected by the attacks.

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