'Keep prayers for Ukraine,' says local radio host

PORTLAND, Ore. -- People in the Portland area with ties to Ukraine are watching the protests closely, and are concerned about the growing violence.

"Keep prayers for Ukraine," said Portland radio show host Eugene Volosevych, of KOOR (1010 AM), also known as Russian Radio 7.

Volosevych said he monitors the situation in Kiev via the internet, and speaks regularly with close friends who are supporting protestors. He said he has been broadcasting about the protests for three months now, since the demonstrations began in November.

"Right now is the time when people said, 'Enough. We can't stand it. We can't live like that,'" said Volosevych.

Volosevych is a United States citizen who was born in Ukraine. He said he waved a flag in the same Independence Square in Kiev about ten years back, during Ukraine's Orange Revolution, which brought some political change to the country. He said he would like to be able to help bring change again.

"I wish to be there," said Volosevych. "My heart is there."

He added that people of the United States and Ukraine share the same values: freedom and democracy. He said he hopes his show will encourage people in Portland to take action, contacting their lawmakers and asking for sanctions against the Ukrainian government.

"In Ukraine, we have no power like that. People here take it for granted," said Volosevych.

He said most of the people calling in to his show support the protestors, though a few express a desire for Ukraine and Russia to keep close ties.

He said he hopes that the struggle of the people in Ukraine, with the help of their people in the United States, will change history for the better.

"Bad guys, they never want to let it, just, go, their power, you know. You have to just fight for freedom," said Volosevych. "It's very hard to think many people died and were injured. But I am glad people raised up."