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Manor College Students Past, Present 'Very Angry And Frustrated' About Ukraine-Russia Tensions

JENKINTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- A Montgomery County college with ties to Ukraine is paying very close attention to the escalating tensions abroad. At Manor College in Jenkintown, students past and present are sharing their concerns.

Eyewitness News caught up with two young women -- one a recent graduate of Manor College, the other a freshman -- both with deep ties to Ukraine and fears about what an invasion by Russian President Vladimir Putin would mean.

But this story begins with an explanation of why we're at Manor College.

"I found out that it was founded by Ukrainian sisters and I was surprised to hear that. It's like a part of the country is here at Manor," student Iryna Hudyma said.

Manor College was founded by the Ukrainian Sisters of Saint Basil the Great 75 years ago. The college has a Ukrainian Heritage Center on campus and holds events throughout the year to celebrate and educate the public on Ukrainian culture.

It's that same pride that has Manor College grad Vera Penkalskyj so concerned about the 100,000 troops, Russia has amassed on the border with Ukraine.

"Very angry and frustrated with the situation. It's unnecessary. The reason Putin wants to claim our history and our land and use the resources for Russia," Penkalskyj said.

Hudyma, who has a brother, aunts, uncles and friends all still living in Ukraine, expressed how they feel about the tension.

"No one's happy about it. Any day you don't know what can happen," Hudyma said.

CBS3 asked both why they think their American friends and our viewers without ties to the region should care about what is and what might happen overseas.

"I think that we take our freedom for granted and I think that we have our everyday lives, and this is what's being threatened in Ukraine," Penkalskyj said.

"You have to understand we're all people here. It doesn't matter what country you come from," Hudyma said.

Both women feel that an invasion of Ukraine would allow Putin to expand west, keep NATO at bay and perhaps allow for future gains in Europe.

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