Ukrainian Crisis Hits Omaha Woman Close To Home

OMAHA (KPTM)- One look inside 80-year-old OlesiaRepichowskyj's home and it's not hard to find her Ukrainian roots.

"This was made in 1912," said Repichowskyj clutching a hand-knittedcloth called a 'rushynk.' It's used in Ukrainian culture for many differentthings, including protection.

She said it protects her home, but not her homeland rightnow. "It still hurts you to have your people suffer," said Repichowskyj.

She's seen a lot of suffering lately in the Ukraine after adeadly revolt and now Russians invading.

"Ukraine has suffered so much over the centuries, this isjust one example! What Russia is doing to us," said Repichowskyj.

Reports surfaced Sunday that Russian forces invaded Crimea,a peninsula of Ukraine. According toCNN, 6,000 Russian ground and naval forces are in the region. According to reports, Russian troops havesurrounded Ukrainian military bases, demanding for surrender.

"Putin wants to create another empire, and without Ukrainehe cannot do that. He has to have Ukraine under his domination," said Repichowskyj.

She said the deadly protest in Kiev last month were herpeople wanting freedom. "People just want to live free," said Repichowskyj. "Theyjust want a different kind of life."

She said she was fortunate to have been given a chance at afree life when her family moved to the United States in 1945. She said herfamily members had been separated at work camps during World War II, and wereable to reunite.

"American's don't realize what a wonderful country they livein, it's the only place they can walk and nobody gives a darn," said Repichowskyj.

She said she hopes her people in Ukraine will get the chanceto know what freedom is like.