War between Ukraine, Russia affecting Tucson

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 9:23 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As talks between Russia and Ukraine continue, people across the world are hoping they come up with a diplomatic solution. Many students from Russia and Ukraine attend the University of Arizona. There are also immigrants who have moved from both countries to Tucson.

UArizona professor Dr. Colleen Lucey knows Russia more than most. Just because someone is calling the shots, she said, does not mean Russians agree.

“I never would have imagined this happening in my years of studying Russian,” Lucey said.

Dr. Lucey teaches Russian and Slavic Studies. She used to live in Russia and spent her adult life learning about Russia and the culture.

“I abhor this with every inch in my body,” she said.

So what can Tucsonans do for Russians here in the United States? Lucey said we should simply “not do Putin’s work for him.”

“One of the key talking point of the Kremlin is that the west is agoraphobic, that we want to control Russia and we cannot handle a strong presence in the world. The Kremlin would be delighted if Americans viewed all $144 million Russians as one voice behind President Putin,” she said.

KOLD News 13 reached out to several Russian Orthodox churches in the Tucson area. They did not want to comment out of fear of being targeted.

“If they come out as we have seen in the press, peaceful protests where people are holding signs, “I do not support the war” or “give peace a chance.” Thousands of protesters are being arrested and jailed. It is a criminal offense,” Dr. Lucey said.

After speaking out against the war, Dr. Lucey said, she may never be allowed back in Russia. But for her, it’s important to speak up.

“There are no victors in armed conflict, just dead bodies,” she said.

She said the only way to make peace is not by war.

“Sure, the impulse is to send more arms, more troops, more bombs. I wonder if we can take that energy to deescalate the violence and engage in talks for peace,” she said.

But Dr. Lucey does not know if President Putin would be open to that.

Dr. Lucey the following organizations have a track record of providing vital aid to Ukraine and are currently raising funds to support those in need on the ground in Ukraine as Russian aggression and military assault continue:

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