Russian natives living in South Florida monitor Ukraine tensions

'Really nobody needs a war,' says shopper at Russian market in Palm Beach County
Posted at 1:59 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 17:14:58-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Will Russian President Vladimir Putin invade Ukraine?

Russia insists it's not planning an attack, but Putin said Friday the United States and NATO have ignored Moscow's main security demands. However, they are ready to keep talking.

President Joe Biden has said he will not send U.S. or allied troops to fight Russia but warned Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky there is a "distinct possibility" that Russia could invade next month.

MORE: Ukraine urges citizens to remain calm, says Russian invasion not imminent

Russian President Vladimir Putin,  Jan. 26, 2022
Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a meeting with Italian businessmen via videoconference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022.

Zelenskyy has called on the west not to create panic amid the build-up of Russian troops at his country's border. He said western alarm over an imminent invasion is putting the country's economy at risk.

Closer to home, Russian natives who now live in Florida shop for goods that remind them of their heritage at the Russian and International Market near Boca Raton.

Fellowship among the customers also takes place there.

The current focus is on tensions between Russia and Ukraine amid growing concerns that Putin will further advance into Ukrainian territory.

Russian International Market is located in southern Palm Beach County
The Russian International Market is located in southern Palm Beach County.

MORE: Russia's top diplomat says 'We don't want wars,' but says country won't have interests trampled

One man from Russia, who didn’t want to give his name, has lived in Florida for more than 25 years.

"That is so scary because really nobody needs a war," he said.

He said he is watching what's happening closely.

"The propaganda makes it (that) some people believe him," he said. "I don't think he will invade Ukraine honestly, try to make attention now. … If he (did) do it, it will be like a war and nobody needs that. … At the same time, I think it is still dangerous because who knows what is in his (Putin's) brain.

Russian native who lives in South Florida discusses the possibility of war with Ukraine, Jan. 28, 2022
A Russian native, who now lives in South Florida, discusses the possibility of war with Ukraine.

Another shopper at the market said he came to the United States in 1965. His grandfather was from Ukraine and moved to Argentina, where he was born.

"I don't believe in what Putin is doing right?" he said. "He's looking for an excuse to attack Ukraine. My grandfather was from Ukraine, so I am not too happy. But what can I do? I hope there is no war but we will see."

For now, the headlines come in from distant homelands, and they wait to see what will happen.

"What can I tell ya, I'm not happy I think it is no good," he said. "But, we can not affect the development, we can't. We need to wait and see what happens.