Local Ukrainian-Americans worried about family in Ukraine - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Local Ukrainian-Americans concerned for family in region after passenger jet is shot down

Customers at Olesia's Place can enjoy Eastern European cuisine. (WOIO) Customers at Olesia's Place can enjoy Eastern European cuisine. (WOIO)
NORTH ROYALTON, OHIO (WOIO) -

Dinner time at Olesia's Place in North Royalton is full of customers having a home cooked eastern European meal. However, today the topic of conversation is what happened thousands of miles away. 

"I am really sad for what happened," said owner Olesia Pochynok. 

Pochynok found out about the deadly plane crash from her brother, who lives just 50 miles from where the plane was shot down. 

"I'm devastated. I wish I could be there and I can help. All my family is there. All my friends are there, it's really bad that we don't know what's going to happen," said Pochynok. 

Kent State University Political Science Professor Steven Hook told us there could be trouble if Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down on purpose. 

"Ukraine right now is essentially in a state of civil war," said Hook. "If this was an intended attack on a civilian airliner depending on who's responsible the political ramifications could be really great. And that's troubling."

Back at Olesia's Place, it may seem like business as usual, but Pochynok said she is working with a heavy heart. She is praying for the victim's families and hopes the unrest in the region she used to call home is resolved.

"I don't know how we can help but we have to figure it out," Pochynok said. 

She also said despite what is happening in Ukraine, she wants to see her family, but is also concerned about her safety. 

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