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Case Western Reserve professor stays in Ukraine as Russian military enters country

During these trying days, the stress put upon Dr. Roman Sheremeta and other Ukrainians is unfathomable.

KYIV, Ukraine — As Russian forces cross the border into Ukraine, Dr. Roman Sheremeta sits in the nation's capital.

"I'm actually from the heart of Kyiv," he tells us. "This is where my apartment is."

An associate professor of economics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Sheremeta has dual citizenship and journeyed to Eastern Europe in order to establish an American school there. During these trying days, the stress put upon him and other Ukrainians is unfathomable.

"The Ukrainian people, first of all, are hoping for understanding and support," he said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy informed his people to prepare for war on Wednesday. Sheremeta says he has an exit plan.

"A lot of Americans citizens are still here," he told us before the military campaign started. "Basically, if there was an active base of military invasion, we would probably need to move to the west."

Because in the east, the Kremlin says separatist rebel leaders are asking for help to fend off "aggression" from Ukraine. The United State and United Nations have placed sanctions on Russia, but Steve Oluic, a retired U.S. Army colonel and an expert in Eastern European politics, says sanctions won't work.

"We are going to sanction Russia. Okay, what does that mean?" he said of the Biden administration's plans. "Russia doesn't have huge economic ties with America."

According to Oluic, most business done with Russia comes from China and Germany.

"Germany has a lot of trade with Russia," he explained. "Their second-largest [Volkswagen] plant is in Russia. Ikea has large operations in Russia."

Whether it be sanctions or warnings, Sheremeta says Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting what he wants: The world on edge, waiting to see what he will do.

"For Putin, it will actually be an ideal scenario if nothing happens for the next year and this tension continues to grow in the air," Sheremeta said. "Ukraine is going to suffer traumatic economic consequences, and Russia is going to be fine."

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