Illinois senators show support for Chicago-Ukrainians - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Illinois senators show support for Chicago-Ukrainians

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Sen. Mark Kirk and Sen. Dick Durbin Sen. Mark Kirk and Sen. Dick Durbin
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicagoans spent the day praying and rallying for their Ukrainian relatives as Russian troops began to take over Crimea, Saturday.

The Parliament in Moscow gave Russian President Vladimir Putin the ability to use military force to protect Russian interests in Ukraine.

Michael Glebiv's extended family still lives in the country. He arranged a car rally in the Ukrainian Village neighborhood in Chicago to show the city that there is support for those in his native country.

"Those are our brothers and sisters. All we want is just freedom, all we want is democracy, we want to have our own country, without bowing down to anyone else. Without Putin invading," Glebiv said.

Despite President Obama's attempt to warn Russia that entering Ukraine "would be costly;" military presence was seen at regional airports and the parliamentary complex.

Senator Mark Kirk, R-Illinois, weighed in on the situation to FOX 32 News, Saturday. "If the Russian military crushes the Ukrainian democracy, then I think we will witness a tragedy here that could involve a lot of families connected to Chicagoland," Sen. Kirk said.

Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, plans to meet with members of Chicago's Ukrainian community on Sunday to brief them on the United States' response to the situation in Ukraine.

"They need help. I talked yesterday to the Secretary of Treasury about financial assistance to the Ukraine with the IMF, the International Monetary Fund. They need it to survive, and I want them to survive," Sen. Durbin added.

Concern among Ukrainian Americans here in Chicago grows stronger.

"There's never been a peaceful invasion , that honestly doesn't make any sense. Obviously they're going to use guns, they're going to use military, there's going to be a lot of bloodshed. And we're trying to do everything in our power to avoid that," Glebiv added.

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