Liliya Moos can’t help but think about her friends and family in the Ukraine as she concentrates on a repair to a pea coat.
“I was on Skype to call my friend in the Ukraine this morning to see if there was anything new,’’ she said. “It’s very sensitive now. They just want life to be peaceful and easier.’’
Moos, a native of Odessa in southern Ukraine, is one of a handful of people in the Joplin area who have ties to the Ukraine. She owns and operates AdornAble Embroidery and Alterations, 2020 S. Main St.
It’s the unknown of what might happen next that is so troubling to her.
“The Ukraine is in total mobilization,” she said. “Any man after 18 must go to the army immediately. They are preparing for something, but we do not know what.’’
Moos said she last visited her homeland in June of last year. She describes Odessa as a cosmopolitan city with more than one million inhabitants who are “working people. This is a business city with 200 nationalities.”
“People want peace in my city,” she said. “Mothers on both sides are saying don’t let your sons go to war,’’ she said. “If they do, brother will kill brother.’’
Her husband, J. Chris Moos, head of marketing and management in the School of Business Administration at Missouri Southern State University, had planned to travel to the Ukraine on Sunday, but the Kiev International Airport was closed to passenger traffic after Russian troops appeared in the Crimea Peninsula, which is south of Odessa.
Moos, who specializes in international management and business, was to meet with 10 to 15 students who want to come to Southern.
“He had to make sure they were ready to come to America,’’ she said. “They needed to understand more than everyday English conversation. They needed very specific terminology to understand economic rules and business rules.
“These students come from a very different country and different culture. They must be ready to understand how things work here.’’
She said her husband, who hails from Wichita, Kan., might try to return to the Ukraine in June in hopes the students will attend one semester this fall.
She said Russian President Vladimir Putin is in the driver’s seat now.
“He’s a good man to the Russian people,” she said. “His popularity is high. They believe he will help with jobs and money.
“Geographically, the Crimea is closer to Russia. They will look to him for more stability — stability that’s based on muscle. Both sides want good life. Both have same goal and it makes no difference which government is there. They just need peace.
“The people don’t care because the result will be the same — corrupt government. It’s cultural.’’