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Local woman born in Russia "ashamed" by Ukraine invasion

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 19:15:38-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Corpus Christi businesswoman who fled Russia in 2014 is speaking out against the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, she's keeping her protest quiet and anonymous out of fear. We're identifying her as “Zoya” out of fears for her family who are still in Russia. She says she also fears retaliation from a regime known for silencing opposition.

“I pray for this all to stop soon,” Zoya said. “Possibly today, this second.”

Zoya says the invasion makes her “ashamed” to be Russian; and that she feels “useless” watching images of war on television.

Those images remind her of 2014, when Russia invaded and then annexed the Crimean Peninsula.

“(The 2014 invasion) made me realize that nothing was going to be better after that point,” Zoya said. “You can call it pessimism, but I call it realism.”

Zoya says she protested that annexation, but worried for her safety.

“Everybody knows if you go to the street to protest, you go to the prison next step,” she said.

Her words proving true, as recent anti-war protests in Moscow ended in arrests. Even so, Zoya is encouraged to see more of her fellow Russians speaking out against President Vladimir Putin.

“Putin is not Russia,” Zoya said. “My family back there, they understand what's happening but what can they do at this point?”

Her wish is for people in her new home to be able to separate the actions of Russia’s government from what's in the hearts of her people.

“Please don't hate Russians because we are against this as much as you are,” Zoya said.

Zoya believes the only way Russia will withdraw from Ukraine is if the Russian military starts suffering heavy losses.

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