Feb 23, 2014 6:12 PM by Nathan O'Neal
TUCSON - The congregation at a local Ukrainian church held a special prayer service to honor the lives lost in the conflict in Ukraine in recent days.
The whereabouts of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovich is unclear after he fled the palace in Kiev, Ukraine.
Lawmakers voted unanimously to remove him from office but Yanukovich insists that decision is illegal and he has no intention of leaving the country.
Yanukovich is believed to be in eastern Ukraine, where his political base his. Demonstrators have taken over independence square and they believe that Yanukovich is a puppet of Russia.
The United States is monitoring the situation and is ready to impose additional sanctions on Ukraine if their government doesn't end the violence against peaceful protesters.
Now with the Olympics officially ending, all eyes turn to Russian President Vladimir Putin and how he will react to Russia's neighboring country.
Here in Tucson, a local prayer service was given Sunday morning in a midtown church. It was conducted in traditional Ukrainian.
"That's where our prayers are really important whereas the people have risen up and they have stood up for human dignity and said we're not going to take the corruption, we're not going to take the barbaric dictatorial rule anymore," said Father Adriy Chirovsky.
George Tarletski is originally from Ukraine and he has paid close attention as the violence intensified against protesters.
"We have friends in Kiev who were participating -- and yes we were very worried about their well-being, especially the last week when the shootings started," Tarletski said.
Now Chirovsky insist the focus is on sending a message of hope and prayers for a peaceful future for all of Ukraine.
"That this might be a lasting peace, a truly just society -- and that all hatred and desire for revenge be banished from everyone's hearts so they can build a society they can be proud of," Chirovsky said.
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