Local Ukrainian, Russian communities react to plane crash

The crash of Malaysia Airline Flight MH17 was the talk of both the local Russian and local Ukrainian communities.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
The crash of Malaysia Airline Flight MH17 was the talk of both the local Russian and local Ukrainian communities.

On Thursday night in Jenkintown, Ukrainian Philadelphia Radio began its weekly program blaming Russia for the downing of the jetliner and vowing to fight for freedom.

"Russia threatens Ukraine with nuclear war incase Ukraine would plan to return the peninsula Crimea. The Ukrainian army readies itself for the last offensive against domestic terrorists," said Osip Roshka.

Among a number of Ukrainian Americans that Action News spoke with, they have no doubt pro-Russian Ukrainian rebels and/or Russian soldiers are to blame for the downing of Malaysian Airways Flight 17.

"They are vicious, they're not our good neighbors, not at all, we want nothing to do with them," said Orysia Hewka.

Action News also spoke with Russian-Americans at Bell's Markets in Northeast Philadelphia.

"Yeah, probably Russians will believe the Ukrainians did it," said Marina Sklyarsky.

Arthur Pastukh says he doesn't believe it was done by Russian soldiers.

"I don't believe that. I believe it's like an accident," said Pastukh.



Regardless of who is to blame, it's clear the crash was a tragedy.

It has also rekindled deep animosity which has its roots in the Ukrainian-Russian conflict and now nearly 300 innocent bystanders have fallen victim.

"The people that were flying in that plane today whether they're from the Netherlands, the U.K., whatever country they're from or whether they were from the U.S., they were going on vacation, they had no choice," said Anatoli Murha.

Leo Rudnytsky, a professor of Eastern European Studies at La Salle University, says maybe now the world will pay attention to what's going on there.

"Some good may come of this, now the world will focus on this and say. Stop!! You can't do this," he said.

The incident happened half a world away, but on Friday the Ben Franklin Parkway will be a focal point of mass demonstrations.

A number of Ukrainian organizations have planned a protest rally to denounce the tragedy and condemn those responsible.
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