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March 07, 2014

‘Pops, Patriots and Fireworks’

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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John Jay grad urges support for Ukraine government


By R.J. MARX
PHOTO COURTESY OF KSENIYA DUKHINA

Ms. Dukhina holds a poster reading “Hands off Ukraine Putin” during a recent protest.

 

Kseniya Sana Pavlova Dukhina, a John Jay High School graduate and Goldens Bridge resident, joined other New York-area Ukrainians and Eastern Europeans in a New York City demonstration against recent political moves in Crimea and Ukraine by Russia’s military forces.

“I was never political,” said Ms. Dukhina, who manages a Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Brewster with her husband, Marat, of Belorussian origin. “The events made me realize that I had to get involved and help. All my friends in Kiev were asking the media in Ukraine to help Maidan.”

Ms. Dukhina and others use the term “Maidan” or “Euromaidan” to describe the protest movement, a broad term developed from the Persian word “Maidan,” meaning square or open place. Along with referring to the 8-acre Independence Square in the center of Kiev, Maidan describes more than just a place but is an iconic reference, such as Tiananmen Square in Beijing or the Arab Spring in Cairo.

While she never considered herself political, Ms. Dukhina said that recent events changed her political outlook and activism. “I just couldn’t sit home and do nothing when people in Ukraine, my friends on Maidan, were getting beaten and killed for standing up for the future of my country. They were so heroic that it inspired everyone to do something as well. The worst feeling was to just watch the news and do nothing at all. Almost everyone has a desire to do whatever they can to help. And many people are, which is why Maidan won.”

Ms. Dukhina said she communicates with her family — her mother remains in Kiev — and friends in Ukraine via Skype and Facebook. “I was there in November of 2013, and the movement really started to become big after the government of Yanukovich beat up students on Maidan.”

She said that the movement grew from a small protest to thousands of people in Independence Square hoping to make the transition to a nation accepted into the European Union. When President Viktor F. Yanukovich rejected the European Union plan, protesters came out in force.

“In the revolution of 2004, it was him against a pro-European president, even after falsifying the election results,” she said. “All along people said he was going to sign with the EU. That’s why people put up with him. There were supposed to be an election in 2015 — everybody was just putting up with him.”

She said that while in Kiev visiting family, she heard that foreigners and journalists were being shot at and imprisoned. On Dec. 1, when President Yanukovich announced that he would not join the EU, “people were enraged,” she said. “That’s what began the revolution.”

On Feb. 20, a sniper killed 88 people. Most Ukrainians believe the killings were committed by Russian forces seeking to maintain the pro-Russian administration of President Yanukovich.

Ms. Dukhina said that in subsequent weeks, the Russians have attempted to exploit ethnic differences in the region to divide the Ukraine, Russian and Tatar populations, using them as a pretext to launch military operations in Crimea, part of Ukraine, which became an independent nation in 1991.

In Westchester, thousands of Ukrainians and Russians have relocated from their native lands, part of what she described as the “Ukrainian diaspora.”

The conflict in Ukraine has come to Westchester County, straining relationships between friends, Ms. Dukhina said, and led to a split between her and a friend from Moscow. “We can’t talk anymore,” she said.

Even long-ago history can be a bone of contention, she said. To Ukrainians, the 17th-century soldier Ivan Mazepa is considered a hero; to Russians, a traitor who sided with Charles XII of Sweden.

Ms. Dukhina came to New York at the age of 12 and graduated from John Jay High School in Cross River in 2000. She has lived in the area since, first teaching at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bedford Hills before launching her own studio in Putnam County.

She is now involved with Razom for Ukraine, a group comprised of different nationalities seeking peace and Ukrainian sovereignty. Ms. Dukhina said Lithuanians, Georgians and Poles have all shown strong support for Razom, translated in English as “together.”

Ms. Dukhina said that most touching was reading on Facebook that people in Independence Square were reading the United States’ Declaration of Independence. “It was motivating them, the thought that people have a right to rebel against an unjust government,” she said. “They were inspired by this document created 200 years earlier. It’s a fight for freedom, a fight to live in democracy, to have a government that supports the people.”


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