‘We are horrified’: Russians in U.S. condemn invasion of Ukraine

People around the world are showing support for the people of Ukraine and condemning Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war — including many who were born in Russia and are now living in the United States.

“Russian people have a moral duty to stand up and say something when Russia is doing something bad,” a 40-year-old woman named Yevgenia told the New York Daily News in late February after returning from a pro-Ukraine rally in Times Square.

“It’s so unprovoked and egregious and appalling. We’re very culturally close with Ukraine, but of course they are a distinct country at the same time,” she said.

Two people holding up signs (© Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Svetlana Suvorova and Andrey, who gave only a first name, hold signs in support of Ukraine during a rally on March 6 in New York City’s Brighton Beach neighborhood. (© Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

U.S. residents who identify with their Russian heritage and those who identify with their Ukrainian heritage share similar views about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to results of two polls from USA Today and Suffolk University in Boston.

Both groups are united in their opposition to Putin and the war he provoked, USA Today reported. The invasion is opposed by nearly everyone in both groups: 87% of Russian Americans and 94% of Ukrainian Americans.

USA Today and Suffolk University surveyed 500 U.S. residents who identify with their Russian heritage and 500 residents who identify with their Ukrainian heritage. Some are American citizens and some are not. The polls, taken by landline and cellphone March 5–10, have margins of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Top of woman's head, arm up holding sign protesting the war in Ukraine (© Damian Dovarganes/AP Images)
A woman who told AP that she is a Russian citizen holds a sign that reads “I’m Russian. No war. I’m sorry” during a gathering in support of Ukraine in Santa Monica, California, on February 27. “I don’t support Putin,” she said. “My heart bleeds when I see all the news.” (© Damian Dovarganes/AP Images)

On the front door of the New York City restaurant Russian Samovar hang two signs: “Stand by Ukraine. NO WAR” and a printed Ukrainian flag, National Public Radio reported in March.

Russian Samovar’s third-generation owner, Misha Von Shats, is of both Russian and Ukrainian descent and still has family in Ukraine. He told NPR that he hopes to host fundraisers for Ukraine.

Sam Klebanov is originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, but came to the United States when he was 6, NBC Boston reported. Klebanov’s family owns Petropol, a small bookstore in Newton, Massachusetts, that specializes in Russian literature.

“We are horrified by what’s happening,” he said. “We have long been critical of the Putin government, but this is a red line that they’ve crossed, and it’s absolutely devastating.”