WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Ukraine’s prime minister said Friday that he believes Russia is trying to take control of the country and start World War III, which some Harrison residents and workers said has them concerned.
Lydia Prokop, who works in Harrison, said she is of Ukrainian decent and is afraid that blood will be shed.
“I’m hoping that it won’t, but I really believe that the U.S. and the European Union really need to step up to the plate and they’re not doing that,” she said.
The Yorktown Heights resident said the sanctions that have been placed on Russia already aren’t enough. President Barack Obama’s administration is likely to discuss with European leaders the possibility of further sanctions Friday, according to USA Today.
“Another world war we don’t need,” said Frank Carpiniello, a former Harrison police officer who lives in White Plains. “I don’t see (Vladimir) Putin backing down unless we propose real sanctions, meaningful sanctions. He’s just not going to back down. It’s gotta hurt them in their pockets. Short of military action I think that’s the only way to go to resolve it peacefully.”
Brian Byrns, an Armonk resident who works in Harrison, said Obama has a weak foreign policy and it shows in Russia’s actions.
“Mr. Putin is going to push us until he gets what he wants,” he said. “I don’t know about World War III, but he’s sees a weakness in our foreign policy and he’s going to take advantage.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that Russia is not keeping up its end of an April 17 Geneva agreement to de-escalate with Ukraine. The agreement came after pro-Russian protesters took over government buildings demanding Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region join Russia, as Crimea voted to do in March.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said that a grenade-launcher hit one of its military helicopters Friday, which then exploded at an airfield in the east end of the country.
“Ukraine has been fighting for their freedom and did get it for a short period of time, and I believe Putin still thinks he can be the emperor of that entire region,” Prokop said, adding that Ukraine has a long history of fighting for its freedom.
Angela Brandt, of Harrison, said the situation does concern her, but “In my day-to-day if worried about such big things I’d never be calm. So I try not to worry about it and stick with the school stuff.”