UPDATE: Local Ukrainian student says unrest back home is "scary" - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Local Ukrainian student says unrest back home is "scary"

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MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- Yana Groves has lived in the United States since 2007. But she was born in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv.
Groves' parents still live in Kharkiv, which she said has so far not been impacted by the violence raging on in the capital city of Kiev.
"What's happening in Kiev is scary," she said. "I'm worried about the country."
"But I'm glad my family is not in trouble," Groves said.
Groves said she has other family members that live roughly three hours from Kiev. She also has a friend that lives in the city who has managed "not to get involved" in the protests there.
Demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych since November when he spurned the opportunity to sign a trade agreement with the European Union. It was speculated at the time that Yanukovych backed out of the deal after pressure from the Russians.
Russia is trying to establish a powerful trade bloc of its own in Eastern Europe.
This week has been the bloodiest of the demonstrations to date. The Ukrainian government is reporting at least 100 people have died in clashes between police and protesters since Tuesday.
There is worry among protesters that Yanukovych will declare the situation a "state of emergency." That would allow him to bring in the military to clear demonstrators out of Kiev.
"That would be a true war," Groves said. "That would be very bad."
She added her main concern remains the safety of her loved ones and other, innocent, Ukrainians.
"I don't want this spreading to people who really don't want to participate," Groves said.


MADISON, Wisconsin (WKOW) -- A local Ukrainian student is hoping to see a fast resolution to the political conflict spawning violence in her home country.

Yana Groves is currently working on a Master's degree in music at the UW-Madison. She moved to Wisconsin after five years in New York, having migrated to the U.S. from the Ukraine in 2007.

Groves' family, she said, has so far stayed removed from the political protests in the capital city of Kiev.

Her parents, who still live in the Ukraine, reside in the eastern town of Kharkiv. 

"I personally, from my family, hear everybody is very scared and trying to stay away," she said.

Groves lived in the Ukraine during the 2004/05 'Orange Revolution' in which President-elect Viktor Yanukovych was accused of rigging the election. Protests across the country ultimately forced a do-over election in which Viktor Yushchenko was declared the winner.

But Groves said that revolution, as it was dubbed, never turned violent. The Ukrainian government is estimating at least 67 people have been killed in clashes between police and anti-government protesters this week. The latter are calling for Yanukovych, who assumed the presidency in what was considered a fair election in 2010, to step down.

The unrest began in November, when Yanukovych opted against signing a trade deal with the European Union. Protesters said he did so after pressure from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is seeking to establish a trade bloc of his own.

We'll have more on Groves' story, and her opinions regarding the violence in the Ukraine, coming up on 27 News at 10.

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