‘Horror’ is the one word reaction of North Texans with Russian and Ukrainian ties
Dallas Telegraph publisher Serge Taran faced an unexpected challenge Thursday with the outbreak of war in Ukraine: Subscribers threatened to quit his publication serving Russians and Ukranians in their native languages. Taran, who was born in Ukraine and went to college in Moscow, pivoted to an important task: An editorial begging for peace and a halt to bloodshed. Taran is one of thousands of North Texans trying to understand why Russian President Vladimir Putin would unleash such destruction on a nation of 43 million. “We want people to pray for peace and for people not to be killed,” Taran said, as he sketched out his editorial’s message for his trilingual publication, which also publishes in English. War “will affect every single American family,” said the Kyiv-born Taran. Many Russians and Ukrainians shared real-time videos through private messaging apps – a fierce global force uniting them with the Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian diaspora in the U.
Irina Hightower, a Russian-born real estate broker, received scenes from Kazan and Moscow of men being beaten. “I am not a politician, but what we see now leaves everyone shocked,” said Hightower, who moved to Dallas from Russia seven years ago. “The majority of Russians and I support Ukraine and its people. In Plano, Oganes Petrosian said he has a deep fondness for the Russian people. “I could never imagine there would be wars between Ukrainians and Russians. Leonid Regheta, a pastor at the Russian River of Life Church in Plano, said he hardly slept the night of the invasion.
“There is absolutely no justification to what Putin is doing,” said Regheta. Regheta didn’t believe the invasion would be of this scale. The Russian and Ukrainian populations are estimated to be only about 6,500 in North Texas as of 2019, according to the Census Bureau. Leonid Regheta fortifies himself these days with constant calls to family in his native Ukraine, as well as poetry and prayer.
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