Russia-Ukraine Conflict Has Ties to Bismarck women
NORTH DAKOTA (KVRR) – The Russia Ukraine conflict has ties to two people from Bismarck.
According to NATO, Russia is still sending troops to Ukraine despite President Vladamir Putin’s insistence to negotiate a solution to the crisis. The U.S. and NATO believe an invasion is imminent.
Ukrainians raised national flags and sang the country’s anthem to mark Unity Day, created by Ukrainian President Zelenskiy, in response to the growing number of Russian troops.
The situation has hit too close to home for a woman in Bismarck. She is planning to travel to Ukraine on Thursday.
“I’m worried about my family over there. Nobody knows exactly what can happen, what I’m thinking, you know? I hope Putin is just showing his power. I hope he will not send more troops,” Ukrainian citizen Tetyana Grytsnko said.
A friend of Tetyana’s understands why she has to go.
“I know just her husband is going, but I don’t know anybody that’s going this time because it’s not the best time to go there, but they’re going just because they have family. They can’t just stay here and just watch what’s going on on TV. It’s not something you can do. It’s emotionally draining,” Mirabela Punga said.
Punga owns Little Odessa, an international eastern European grocery store in Bismarck. Even she feels tension between Europeans in America with conflict more than 5,000 miles away.
Though Punga is confident the bond between European immigrants will remain strong, no matter what’s next for Ukraine.
“We’re a pretty good amount of people from Eeastern Europe here in Russia, Moldova and Ukraine area and we call each other our people. We don’t distinguish because we all have the same paths,” Punga said.
Russian officials said they would withdraw some troops after completing a military exercise on Tuesday but the Biden Administration say over seven thousand Russian troops are still along the Ukrainian border.