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Updated Mar 3, 2014 - 2:43 pm

Priest: Russian movements in Ukraine similar to WWII

PHOENIX — A Tucson priest said he is praying pressure exerted by western countries will help calm the possible spark of another world war in the Crimea region of Ukraine.

“What’s going on right now is very similar to what happened when Hitler began invading and annexing various countries right before World War II,” the Rev. Andre Chirovsky said. “At first, the west did not react very quickly.”

Chirovsky said Ukrainians around the world are praying for a peaceful end to the on-going conflict, including those in Arizona.

“We’re praying that open hostilities — a shooting war — not erupt,” said Chirovsky, who leads the St. Michael Ukrainian-Catholic Church in Tuscon.

Despite possible conflict, Chirovsky said he and his congregation are proud of their native country.

“We’re very proud of what’s going on in Ukraine,” he said.” The Ukrainian government has exercised unbelievable restraint in the face of an armed invasion.”

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