CHICAGO (CBS Chicago/CBS News) — The owners of the downtown Russian Tea Time restaurant issued a statement this week denouncing the invasion of Ukraine and the policies of the Russian government.
The letter said:
“Dear patrons and friends of the RTT,
“We are heartbroken by the recent news; our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by this inhuman and despicable invasion. We do not support the policy of the Russian government. We support human rights, freedom of expression and fair democratic elections.
“Украинцы (Ukrainians), the world is with you, the world is behind you. Stay strong, our hearts are with you!
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Russian Tea Time has been in business at 77 E. Adams St., just west of the Art Institute of Chicago, since 1993. Its owner and chef, Klara Muchnik, was born and raised in Ukraine, and moved to Uzbekistan to work as a surgical nurse in 1997. She also started catering to earn extra money in the harsh conditions of the Soviet Union.
Muchnik and her family immigrated to the United States in 1990. With the help of the business acumen of her son, Vadim, she then opened Russian Tea Time to fulfill the dream of a restaurant that “combined its Russian roots with the rich culinary flavors”. of the former Soviet republics, which strongly influenced its cuisine.
On Friday morning, blasts of what Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called “horrific Russian rocket strikes” were heard in the Ukrainian capital amid unverified reports that the fighting had already reached the heart from Kyiv. Videos posted online showed what residents said were Russian tanks driving through their town, and gunfire and air raid sirens were heard in the capital.
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Appearing on television from an undisclosed location, the Ukrainian president warned the world that Vladimir Putin was not only attacking his country, but was waging “a war against Europe”, and he said the West was not doing enough to stop it.
Ukrainian officials say they are fighting on multiple fronts to repel a ‘full-scale invasion’, and President Joe Biden has accused Putin of choosing to wage ‘a premeditated war that will result in catastrophic loss of life and suffering. human”.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday doubled down on Putin’s claim that the invasion was necessary to “demilitarize” Ukraine’s Western-backed government, which the Kremlin has called a “Nazi cell.” Lavrov said that after Ukraine is “freed from this burden, Ukrainians will have the opportunity to freely choose their future.”
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But CBS News’ Haley Ott reports that Ukrainians are rushing to support their country’s military, hoping to prevent any future on Russian terms.