Heartache for Ukraine.
Fresh-baked Lenten paczkis, Ukrainian-style, cooled on a counter inside Lviv International Foods Monday afternoon, near the samples of cured ham and kielbasa scattered on paper plates.
Preoccupied customers were slow to help themselves. Most were busy raising the issue of the moment–Russian troops in Ukraine–and what it was doing to their blood pressures and to their families.
“We’re all going crazy,” said Luda Popudnyk of Parma, a worried mother who stopped into the ethnic grocery in Parma’s Ukrainian Village.
“Everybody is tense,” she said. “Everybody’s afraid of everything. Nobody wants a war.”
That was the feeling in immigrant-owned businesses up and down State Road Monday, in a commercial district anchored by stately Ukrainian churches and cathedrals.
Many of those houses of worship have been scenes of hurried prayer vigils, community meetings and strategy sessions in recent weeks–ever since Kiev exploded in anti-government protests in mid January.
A recent change of government aroused Russian ire and Russian troops. Now the region’s Ukrainian American community, Ohio’s largest, is trying to respond to a crisis few saw coming.