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CLEVELAND (WJW) –  Concerns are growing in the Northeast Ohio Ukrainian community.

“People are heart sick,” said Dr. George Jaskiw, Vice President of the United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio.

Fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine escalated quickly Monday after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered forces into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine.

“I think we never thought in the 21st century that this would happen, but Mr. Putin’s been doing it for over a decade,” said Jaskiw.

In a day of fast-moving developments, Putin’s decree appeared to dash the remaining hopes of averting a major conflict in Europe.

The UN Security Council set an emergency meeting Monday night at the request of Ukraine, the U.S. and others.

At the same time, President Joe Biden signed an executive order prohibiting trade and investment between the U.S. and the two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine.

“I think it’s not enough. President Biden’s sanctions will be against those who operate in those two territories, but the whole process comes from Russia,” said Jaskiw.

The United Ukrainian Organizations of Ohio said there are about 80,000 people in Northeast Ohio who have roots in Ukraine.

“People are terrified, but they are adamant. People I talked to in Ukraine plan to stay and fight. They won’t flee,” said Jaskiw.