He is saddened by the outbreak of violence in such a beautiful and once-peaceful country. That violence has struck his family. Approximately three weeks ago, his Ukrainian cousin was beaten up and his arms badly injured by hired tough men during the protests.
“He has been a part of the protests and it’s disheartening to see the government do that to you,” Stickel said. “His attitude, and the attitude of many over there, is they aren’t going to let up until the elections. They are going to see it through May 25 when the new elections are held and hold everyone (interim government) accountable. There are factions of Ukraine not happy with current events and lean toward Russia.”
Stickel says his cousins have told him that many in the country have been in mourning since the bloodshed began and are holding memorial services for those killed.
“Those people died in protests and are being heralded as heroes. There is optimism, but fear that Russia is going to try and take Ukrainian territory,” he said. “The feeling is now or never and disassemble the power structure and get some legitimate democracy in there. It’s a beautiful country. It’s a peaceful country. It’s been a power struggle — Russia versus the west. People are pushed to the brink and the heroes have risen to the challenge and they are going to see it through.”