Protests in the Ukraine Bring Back Sad Memories For Former Refugee

By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email
By: Anna-Lysa Gayle Email

The protests in the Ukraine is just one example of how refugees end up in the United States and for Viktor Sokolyuk it brings back sad memories.

"You do whatever you're told, you can't say anything against the regime," said Sokolyuk, who entered the United States as a refugee, during the time the Ukraine was under the Soviet Union's control.

He said it seems little has changed in the country.

He describes today's leaders in the Ukraine like this.

"They still have that old Soviet society mentality. It's either my way or there is no way," said Sokolyuk.

Under the soviet regime he was persecuted for being a Christian.

Now a citizen of the United States, he works to help refugees coming to America, who were once like him.

"Helping them find jobs, helping them learn English, all these necessary things that refugees need to do in order to be integrated into the community," said Jim Hershberger who helps the more than 100 refugees who come to the Valley each year.

Sokolyuk said his heart goes out to people of Ukraine.

"It tears my heart apart, because I know people of that country. I know all their struggles and challenges," said Sokolyuk.

Both Hershberger and Sokolyuk do not think it is likely that we will see many refugees coming out of the Ukraine due to the recent protests.

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