July 18, 2014 1:36 pm
Updated: July 18, 2014 2:40 pm

Saskatchewan Ukrainians react to Malaysia Airlines downing

Watch above: Saskatchewan’s Ukrainian community reacts to downing of Malaysia Airlines plane

SASKATOON – Ukrainians in Saskatchewan are worried that the airline crash in Ukraine is going to lead to more violence in the region.

Danylo Puderak, executive director of Ukrainian Canadian Congress Saskatchewan, says that’s the biggest fear for many. He says after Ukraine’s presidential elections in May, there was hope that the region was moving toward peace.

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“At least there was some progress being made, but now with this tragic shooting down of a civilian airliner I think we’re going to see probably an escalation of the violence,” he told Global Morning News.

“It’s a shock. People don’t know what to expect.”

IN DEPTH: Disaster over Ukraine – Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

In parts of eastern Ukraine, government troops have been battling Russian separatists.

Many think the separatists are backed by Moscow, and Puderak believes there are indications that the separatists are behind the downing of the Malaysia Airlines plane.

“In fact one of the (separatist) leaders, on his social media site, a Russian social media site, had posted up there bragging they had shot down a plane, and there was some international media that got screen shots of this,” said Puderak.

“And then all of a sudden it disappeared when it became known that it was a civilian airliner.”

Regardless of who is found responsible, Ukrainians in Saskatchewan worry it will lead to more instability and violence.

“There’s a lot of concern about this causing a rise in tension,” he said. “There is concern about the potential for this war spreading.”

© Global News, 2014

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