MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With Ukraine and Russia on the verge of a possible war, the rest of world is watching and waiting to see the next course of action.

“You have the United States and the European nations trying to find some angle, some way to influence the situation,” Hamline University political science professor David Schultz said.

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Ophelia Karamushko of Eden Prairie has been calling family members and friends who live in east Ukraine. She says they don’t have access to media independent of Russia. She’s been warning them of what she’s seeing on TV.

“Regular people are, beyond logical explanation, scared,” she said. “It is very scary.”

Ukrainians fear Russia will attack.

“It’s distressing thinking of what is going to happen,” John Kramarczuk of Minneapolis said. “Hopefully things will settle down and Russia will do what it needs to do, retreat.”

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So, far there has been no sign of that. President Obama had warned Russia on Friday that there would be costs for any military intervention.

“Russia has been trying to keep Ukraine under its sphere, under its fold, so it doesn’t drift to the west,” Schultz said.

Russia says its actions will protect its citizens and interests in Ukraine. With military drama and nationalism unfolding, for Ukrainians in the U.S., all they can do is hope for a resolution.

“It’s hard to say what kind of action needs to be taken,” Karamushko said. “If Putin can’t be stopped [all of] Europe is in danger.”

To try and prevent military action, Schultz said it’s more likely the U.S. will use some kind of leverage, possibly putting the option on the table of helping other countries build defense systems, which is something Russia wouldn’t want.
The U.S. could also cancel their attendance at the G-8 summit held in Socci this year in June, which would impact their economy greatly.

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In Minneapolis, the Ukrainian Event Center is hosting a humanitarian aid fundraiser for the people affected by the violence in Ukraine. That will be next Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Kate Raddatz