Connecticut residents with connections to Ukraine are keeping a close eye on the crisis brewing abroad.
Almost all the folks working at the Ukrainian Selfreliance New England Federal Credit Union in Wethersfield have loved ones living in Ukraine.
“Right now, I have family there still that we communicate with. My wife is from Ukraine actually. She has family there. She talked to her brother this morning to see what’s going on,” said CEO George Stachiw.
The credit union has been around since the 1950s, a place people then and now can feel comfortable getting a loan.
“After the war, there was a lot of immigrants that were coming over here and it was very hard,” Stachiw said.
The Wethersfield branch is one of two in Connecticut and when you walk inside two signs catch your eye: “Pray for Ukraine” and “Keep Putin Out of Ukraine.”
“My mother-in-law, my wife has family there still, so that’s a concern,” said accountant Donald Horbaty.
Accountant Voldoymyr Ivasyuk has family there too. He was born in Ukraine.
“So basically I spent half of life in Ukraine and half my life here in the United States, in Connecticut.”
While most of their relatives live in the western part of the country, farther from Russia, they’re keeping a close eye on Putin’s every move.
“If he takes over, moves in, he could take over the whole country and that’s going to be pretty bad for us -- for our families that are there. It’s just pretty bad,” said Horbaty.
Now a U.S. citizen, Ivasyk hopes Americans understand the stress Ukraine is currently under.
“The most important thing for us is to provide our support here in this country and obviously I would like to see American government become more proactive in helping Ukraine.”