Stamford curator: Putin's actions threaten cultural heritage of Ukrainian people

Ukrainian immigrants living in Connecticut say Russian President Vladimir Putin is waging a cultural war against their home country as well as a military one.
Conflict is escalating in Ukraine after Putin ordered Russian forces into parts of the country held by pro-Russian rebels.
"Russia basically formally introduced its regular forces into Ukraine under the pretext of protecting Russian-speaking populations," said University of New Haven professor Dr. Olena Lennon.
Lennon says near her family's home in eastern Ukraine, pro-Russian forces are preventing men under 50 from evacuating.
"What we're experiencing now really is a forced mobilization of occupied territories to fight on behalf of the occupier. It's an egregious war crime," said Lennon.
She says the Russian president won't stop at the rebel-held regions.
Curator of the Ukrainian Museum and Library of Stamford Lubov Wolynetz says friends at museums in Ukraine are scrambling to preserve priceless art and culture.
"If he moves even any further, the first thing they do, they destroy cultural heritage," said Wolynetz.
She says Putin's view that Ukraine is culturally part of Russia is belied by the hundreds of years of art, craftsmanship and history recorded.
"This presents the proof that we are what we say we are, not what Putin says that we are not," said Wolynetz.
Lennon will be speaking as part of a virtual UNH panel called Russia's War Against Ukraine: How Far Will Putin Go? Friday at 12 p.m.