Rhode Island Ukrainians react to Russia entering their country

by ABC6 News Reporter Mark Curtis


As violence continues in the Ukraine, and Russian troops are now on the ground; they are holding prayer services at St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Woonsocket.

“For us it's a very painful situation right now… Our major concern is that, the loss of religious freedom,” said Rev. Monsignor Roman Golemba, of St. Michael's Church.

Woonsocket has a large Ukrainian population after many immigrated here to work in mills.

More came after World War II, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

ABC6 News Reporter Mark Curtis said, “Parishioners here are hoping diplomacy and economic sanctions work and there will be no need for outside military intervention.”

Church member Cornel Osadsa said of his Ukraine relatives, “Right now they are holding tight.”

Osadsa has been in touch with his cousins in the Ukraine.

They are okay for now, but that may not last.

“Long term that Putin wants to – at the very minimum – carve up Ukraine; at the worst simply take it over. And I fear that he's a complete loose canon,” Osadsa said.

Everyone at the Woonsocket church continues to watch the international news coverage.

“I'm just asking for everyone to pray for peaceful settlement so that we can go on with our lives,” said Monsignor Golemba.

St.  Michael's has about 60 Ukrainian families in its congregation, and will hold another prayer service this coming Sunday.