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Inside look at Ukraine from two St. Louisans

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)-- The U.S. hopes international pressure will prevent Russia from taking over Ukraine.

But for Ukrainians living in the U.S., these past weeks have produced a roller coaster of emotions.

The Russian threats and the uncertainty in Ukraine have those with ties to that part of the world watching anxiously. Many natives are reluctant to talk.

But, we found a St. Louisan who has retired in Ukraine and a former Fulbright Scholar who worked and studied there, willing to share their unique perspectives with us.

The military move caught Ukraine and many in the U.S off guard.  Now the world is watching as the President Obama administration tries to isolate Russian leader Putin and push him into taking his troops back home.

Former St . Louis artist and psychologist Brad Bannister spoke to me via Skype from his home in the Black Sea town of Nikolaev. He says people don't want to antagonize the Russians.

Monica Eppinger spent time in Ukraine as part of the U.S. diplomatic service and on a Fulbright Scholarship.  She is trying to reach Russian colleagues to share the unfiltered story.

Once again the internet may play a significant role in what citizens understand about their governments just as it did during the Arab spring.