GREAT NECK - The Ukrainian population on Long Island has been anxiously watching the crisis in their homeland since violent clashes between protesters and police broke out.

Valentina Bardakova, of Great Neck, fears for the safety of her parents who live in Ukraine. She says a friend was killed in the protests.

“I was crying. I could not believe that it happened in my country,” Bardakova told News 12. “They're against injustice. They're fighting for freedom. They're fighting for democracy.”

U.S. officials estimate 6,000 Russian troops have already been deployed in the Crimean region of Ukraine and have taken full operational control. Ukraine called it an "act of aggression."

While U.S. officials are warning Moscow to withdraw troops from Ukraine and threatening sanctions, Bardakova fears it will not be enough.

“This is my biggest fear is that Ukrainian people will suffer,” said Bardakova. “The danger is real.”

For an extended interview with Valentina Bardakova, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.