GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Dr. Robert Marko, a professor at Aquinas College, has traveled to Ukraine seven times and also lived there for a while when he taught overseas.
Dr. Marko told 24 Hour News 8 he has been Skyping with several people in Ukraine on a regular basis since the chaos broke out.
“They are very concerned about Russian troops in Crimea and sending other Russian troops into Crimea. They are certainly cornered about the decision of Russian parliament under Putin to fulfill his request to be willing to send troops into another sovereign country which is Ukraine,” said Dr. Marko.
Those that Dr. Marko is talking with say there are serious concerns that this situation is heading towards war. He said many see this as a revolution, fed up with their lack of freedoms among other things.
“I think in many ways the people of Ukraine are fed up with corruption and a very very dire economic situation.”
Last week Ukraine ousted President Viktor Yanukovych following bloody street protests that left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.
As to whether or not the United States should play a role in the situation in Ukraine, Dr. Marko said yes.
“I think the United States is morally obligated to support as much as they can. People who are striving for freedom that emphasize human rights that have been persecuted throughout the century. I think there is a moral obligation of the US government to respond to this crisis. There is no question in my mind.”
Senator Carl Levin also released a statement Saturday calling on the U.S. administration to work with their European allies to respond to the developing situation in Ukraine.
Sen. Levin said in his statement: “One of the steps that we and our allies could take would be to place a significant number of international observers on the ground in Ukraine, if requested by the Ukrainian government. The presence of international observers on the ground could reduce the risk that Russia would make a false claim of provocative acts by Ukraine as an excuse for further violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, and thereby help avoid a conflict that nobody should want.”