A Crimean native living in Greater Cincinnati says the people of her homeland had three bad choices: stay with the Ukraine and a crumbling government, become an independent nation, or rejoin Russia.
"When people lose their hope, they're ready for anything. All they want to do is get opportunities for their families and themselves to live better," said Inna Aracri, who lives just north of the city.
She moved to the US in 2007. Inna still has distant family living in the Crimean region, and she says Russia's annexation of Crimea is a complicated issue that goes back decades, and deep into Russian and Soviet history.
"After the USSR broke up and Crimea decided to stay a part of the Ukraine, all I have been watching, throughout my childhood, teenage years is how Crimea degraded. It has not been taken care of, there is no investment, there has been nothing coming. All the politicians in the Ukraine have been doing is taking advantage of what Crimea has to offer, making money off of it, and never investing back. It need a long term investment," said Aracri.
She says that is the most important thing for Crimean, no matter who controls the region.