“This is what I had as a child,” he said, holding two pre-packaged vanilla ice cream cones made by a company in his native Ukraine.
Money was born there and came to the US when he was 7 years old.
The Bells Market on Bastleton Avenue is one of the few places where he can find treats, as the store serves both Ukrainians and Russians. Northeast Philadelphia is home to a large population of both.
The region’s international influence is also the reason why so many people are invested in what happens when Russian troops continue to position themselves along Ukraine’s borders.
“I still have grandparents who are in Ukraine,” Grosh said, adding that they live in the central part of the country, but are so used to threats from Russia that they are engaged in their daily lives. His concern for Ukrainian troops.
“When Putin captured Crimea, I thought what would be the next step? He will seek more and more, ”Grosh said.
This concern is shared by David Davidov, although he is from Russia.
“It’s something of a political game. It’s a big game,” he said. “I don’t like it.”
The Honorary Consulate of Philadelphia in Ukraine has even suffered from a rapidly changing situation, which has raised tensions over the past two days.
“When I wake up, I’m afraid to open the news,” said Irina Mazur, Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia.
Concerns are only heightened by the support of Ukrainian-Americans from the local Russian community.
Mazur says Philadelphia Council member David O recently held an event that brought together people from a number of Eastern European countries as tensions with Russia grow.
NEXT: Biden promises that the United States is ready to defuse the Russian-Ukrainian crisis
“Every intelligent person, no matter where he comes from, understands that what the Russian government is doing is inhumane,” Mazur said.
Threatened by Russian troops for the past eight years, she says people in Ukraine are ready to fight.
“The Ukrainian people are ready and able to defend their land,” she said
They only hope that this will not happen.
“In fact, I fully support all diplomatic talks,” Mazur said.
This is the hope that makes people come to the Office of Universal Travel, which is close to the Bells Market. The business serves as a travel agency as well as a place where people can deliver goods to countries including Ukraine and Russia.
On Wednesday afternoon, one woman came to send a large box, saying it was filled with clothes and shoes for her family in Russia.
At the same time, Viktor Maksishin, a native of Ukraine, sent money to his grandmother, who lives in western Ukraine.
“She’s kind of nervous, but she’s fine,” Maksishin said.
Signs inside the company are printed in both Ukrainian and Russian, as the agency helps the few people who are now trying to travel to these areas.
Russian President Vladimir Putin insists that some troops are moving away from the Ukrainian border
“You can never believe what the Russian government has said,” Mazur said.
Pennsylvania Congressman Brian Fitzpatyk, who co-chairs the Ukrainian caucus in Congress, is among lawmakers who have introduced a bill calling for sanctions against Russia.
On Sunday, buses of people will travel from Philadelphia to Washington to show their support for legislation and Ukraine.
The United States warns that Russia could invade Ukraine any day, but President Joe Biden says a diplomatic solution is still on the table.
Money hopes this will happen instead of invading.
“Too many times Russia and Putin have threatened and threatened, trying to flex their muscles,” he said. – I’m just tired of it.
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