STAMFORD - A Ukrainian church in Stamford observed a special Mass Sunday morning to pray for those affected by the ongoing violence in their homeland.

Mykola Kernitskyy, 31, a parishioner of St. Vladimir’s Cathedral on Wenzel Terrace, says the riots in Kiev are difficult to watch.

Kernitskyy says the upheaval in his homeland presents a very personal challenge, and if the situation gets worse in the next 24 hours, he says he will go to Kiev and take part in the protests.

“The change is not going to happen overnight or even over one month,” said Kernitskyy. “It's going to take at least from five to 10 years.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Jim Himes addressed the congregation during the special Mass.

“We will stand for the rights of people to determine their own destiny, their future,” said Blumenthal. “They're the ones to decide. Not an outside country. Not Europe, not the United States; the people of Ukraine.” 

Blumenthal says the Senate is expected to pass a resolution this week calling for sanctions against Ukrainian leaders who commit brutalities against their own people.