Russian natives living in Houston show support for Ukraine as conflict escalates
HOUSTON - The Russian-Ukrainian conflict continues to escalate as Ukrainians are trying to flee from the war.
Houstonians from Russia gave us their perspective of how most of their country feels about this war. The Russian community is about 80,000 strong in Houston.
BACKGROUND: Russia invades Ukraine as Putin threatens 'consequences you’ve never seen' if West intervenes
Being able to see the painful video and images of what’s happening in Ukraine on TV and the internet is what Katya Kuznetsova says makes her feel closer to the home region.
"It is devastating what we are feeling here, and it is very concerning," Kuznetsova said. "Like I said we don’t really feel distance, we feel like we are part of this horrible situation."
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Kuznetsova lives in Houston but is from Russia where all of her family lives.
"I am talking to my family and friends in Russia and people are so against this war. Russian people feel so helpless. It is just a devastating situation for everyone. For the Ukrainian side of my friends and Russians also. We feel like we are all hostages in this situation," she said.
"They are depressed and disoriented," Kuznetsova continued. "This is how I can describe. They were preparing, but they weren’t thinking that Russians would really invade and start bombing them. I feel they are still in shock."
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She, like thousands of other Russians, who have actually come out to say it, do not support their own government. Including one resident, who asked to remain anonymous, during an interview but showed their support to neighboring Ukraine at a rally in the Galleria area
"My immediate family is opposed to the Russian government. It is just terrifying," they said. "My grandmother is Ukrainian. I just feel terribly for everything that is happening and there is a huge amount of guilt that I feel and ashamed."
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"We don't support our government," they continued. "The government started the war that we did not elect. Russians have no say in government say. We are doing our best."
In Russia, we know thousands of residents across several cities took to the streets to express their outrage, and hundreds were arrested.