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Central Coast residents forming opinions about the US role in the Russia-Ukraine crisis

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - From coffee shops to other popular gathering places, the Russia-Ukraine conflict has Central Coast residents and visitors to the area talking about the possible impacts ahead.

They are concerned about what will happen worldwide, but also in their lives.

Walking in downtown Santa Barbara, Douglas Strekkinger said, "I think Putin is a contender in global domination."

Nearby Hubert  Leveque agreed Russian President Vladamir Putin has an agenda. "He is still going to do what he wants to do."

A visitor from the San Francisco area, Christine Whyte said, "nobody wants a war, except maybe Putin."

The crisis on the Ukraine border with Russia has the world watching and rapidly forming opinions in recent days.

Whyte said, "I think we need to do all we can to help our ally Ukraine."

She called Putin, reckless. "I think the US and NATO have to defend Ukraine in anyway they possibly can. Hopefully that doesn't mean any military involvement but it should involve sanctions that are going to stop Putin."

President Joe Biden, speaking in Washington D.C. said, "we are implementing full blocking sanctions on two Russian financial institutions.  We have cut off Russias government from western financing."

   A new Associated Press/ NORC Center poll shows only one in four Americans say the US should be involved in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.  About 50 percent think the US should have a minor role.

Leveque said, "we don't want to be on the side of  defending countries  like Russia that are invading neighboring countries claiming that it was always part of them.    I think we have to defend them and stick with NATO and Western Allies"      

 Many people said they were gaining information daily on the crisis and learning more.  Some are comparing it to other similar conflicts in the past.

Whyte said "it's quite frightening and may be the worst crisis we have had since the Cold War.  Everyone is saying - maybe since World War two mainly because Putin is so unpredictable and so dangerous."

Stekkinger said, the real impacts on people are a serious concern. "I think most importantly is the people of Ukraine,  their freedom. Dictatorship doesn't work, we have seen that in history. We're doing the right thing."

(More video and photos will be added here later today.)

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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