Russians in Houston closely monitoring Ukraine tension

HOUSTON - Tension continues to mount after Russia effectively seized control of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Ukraine on Tuesday to show U.S. support for Ukrainian sovereignty.

Houstonians continue to watch this standoff closely. This past weekend, we saw the Ukrainian community in Houston protesting outside the Russian consulate. Now we're hearing from native Russians to get their thoughts on this growing tension.

"There is no simple answer," said Alexander Kogan, a Russian native who lives in Houston.

He says even though he's run Russian General Store in southeast Houston for over 10 years, he still has close ties to the Russian people.

"People are upset that there is a problem between Russia and America. People don't like it. They don't like it from Russia and they don't like it from America," he said.

The two countries are odds after Russia's government sent thousands of troops to Crimea, a part of Ukraine predominately comprised of citizens with strong ties to Russia.

"Some of them feel they are still affiliated with Russia," Kogan said.

The U.S. has sided with the new Ukrainian government and believes Russia should avoid intervention in that fledgling sovereign nation.

"The problem is that inside Ukraine, various strong forces say that we are one country. At the same time, they are two countries in reality," said Kogan.

Regardless of the outcome Kogan doesn't believe this conflict will create any ill will between the American and Russian people.

"It is a problem between politicians, but not a problem between populations," he said.

The U.S. has already threatened to pull out of the upcoming G-8 summit if Russia continues what it sees as an occupation of Ukrainian land. But many experts believe the U.S. is not in a position to provide military intervention.

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