Tyler woman raised in Ukraine, saddened by violence

Tyler woman raised in Ukraine, saddened by violence

TYLER (KYTX) -  Tensions in Ukraine are higher than ever as violence erupts against pro-Russian rebels. 

Russian troops took over Ukraine's Crimean peninsula earlier this year after a volatile leadership shakeup in Ukraine's government. Now the turmoil has spread beyond the peninsula.

All the fighting is difficult for a Tyler woman to watch. She grew up in Ukraine is worried that the unrest could turn into a full-blown civil war.

Lines of military tanks, and people with weapons yelling in the streets are the current images of Ukraine, but not the uUraine Meela Mejia once knew.

"I was born in Ukraine where it borders Poland," Mejia says. "We didn't know any of the political turmoil. At that time it was the Soviet Union and we were just in our little world, happy!"

She says she doesn't recognize a Ukraine covered with violence.

"You would only see that on the TV in other countries and we would be very disappointed by that, like how could that happen? Why can't everyone live in peace like we do?

Now, she's seeing the same type of turmoil in her own country.

"It's very disturbing," she says. "I'm very saddened by that because it is my country. That's where I was growing up and I will never forget that."

She left Ukraine when she was 19 years old to come to the United States, and her parents and little brother followed eight years later. 

She has no family left in Ukraine, but still has old friends, who say the tension grows worse every day. 

"They post constantly their pictures and brief videos," she says. 

She stands with her friends, and the rest of the Ukrainians clashing with the pro-Russia rebels, wishing this will all end. 

"I really hope that it will come to peace without any bloodshed. That's my great hope and wish for the country," Mejia says, close to tears.

Even though Tyler is her home now, her memories and love for Ukraine will forever stay in her heart. 


The world will be watching Thursday for talks between the European Union, the U.S., Russia and Ukraine, hopefully to help restore peace.

Meanwhile, NATO is keeping military presences on the eastern border in response to the recent violence. 


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