MINNEAPOLIS -- Stephen Vitvitsky is a second-generation Ukrainian American, with family living in Ukraine.

Vitvitsky, who serves on the board of the Ukrainian-American Community Center in Minneapolis, describes his reaction to the Russian invasion of his homeland:

It's devastating to witness. It's heartbreaking to watch from halfway around the world. I think every Ukrainian American in Minnesota and most Ukrainian Americans living around the country have family in different parts of Ukraine.

Minnesota is home to around 17,000 Ukrainian Americans.

Ukraine has done nothing to provoke Russia. Ukraine has not attacked Russia, has not threatened to attack Russia as Russia has against Ukraine.

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He says worldwide solidarity is key to winning this fight:

I think it's really, really important and positive to see that the U.S. is working hard to rally allies because I think that is the really only effective to confront the bully. And that is what Russia is in this scenario.

President Biden unveiled harsh new sanctions on Russia Thursday, saying "Putin is the aggressor. Putin chose this war. And now he and his country will bear the consequences."

This story is courtesy of the Minnesota News Network.

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