Updated: 03/15/2014 6:12 PM
Created: 03/15/2014 5:51 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
One Northlander with ties to Ukraine is watching the feud in her home country with distress. She fears more violence could break out after a Sunday vote that will determine if Crimea will secede and join Russia.
Galyna Tuttle has been living in Cloquet for 8 years, but she grew up in Ukraine and said she sees both places as home.
“I consider America my home, and my land, and my people, but still part of my heart is still back in Ukraine,” Tuttle said.
She visited Ukraine just before the recent protests broke out. The tension with Russia has her worried about her family members living in Ukraine. Over 100 died in the protests, and her cousin, who is a doctor, said she saw a young protester die.
“He was probably 16 years old, or 17, and he got shot in the heart and they tried to save his life,” Tuttle said.
President Viktor Yanukovych fled after those protests. Tuttle said she fought the voter fraud that put him in power in 2004.
“They would travel from town to town and they would vote for Yanukovych in each town, and this way they would gather more votes,” Tuttle said.
She said the protests gained momentum as Ukrainians realized the choice was about more than alliances.
“It became a matter not of choosing between Europe or Russia, it's between freedom and oppression,” Tuttle said.
Ukrainian officials said Russia has moved armed troops into Crimea. Residents there will vote on Sunday on whether to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. Tuttle said it will likely pass because of the show of force.
“People don't feel safe to say what they really think. They are scared for their lives,” Tuttle said.
Officials from the United States and other European counties have called the vote illegitimate, but it is certain to shape the future for Ukraine.
Russia has also deployed 9,000 troops on Ukraine's eastern border. Ukraine's acting president has called on volunteers for a national guard as well.
Chisholm-Based 114th Officially Welcomed Home
After returning from a 9-month deployment in Afghanistan, the Chisholm-based 114th Transportation Company got a proper homecoming from the community Saturday.
Burger King Construction Site Falls Victim to High Winds
The new Burger King site off Highway 53 in Duluth was a victim of high wind speeds Saturday. Crews said they were working on it around 10 a.m. when it collapsed. Wind speeds were gusting up to 40 miles per hour.
Scout for Food Event Makes Donating Easy
Local boy scouts helped grocery shoppers during the Scout for Food event Saturday. The goal of the event is to make it easy for people to donate to the annual Share Food Drive.
Chicken Kiev Linked to Minnesota Outbreak Recalled
Federal authorities say a Chicago company has recalled nearly 29,000 pounds of chicken Kiev products linked to a salmonella outbreak in Minnesota. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the raw, frozen chicken entrees from the Aspen Foods division of Koch Meats were sold as Antioch Farms brand A La Kiev raw stuffed chicken breast.
Wisconsin Sex Offenders Must Stay Home on Halloween
Police are teaming up with parole agents across Wisconsin to make sure sex offenders stay home on Halloween night.