Central Ohio Man Working, Living With His Family In Ukraine

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UPDATED: Wednesday April 2, 2014 6:35 PM

Natural gas prices are on the way up in Ukraine.

It's the latest Russian push to pressure the new government there, struggling to move forward after the recent invasion into Crimea.

It is just the latest headline Andy Allinson, a Columbus native, lives with every day.

10TV talked with Allinson in a Skype interview Wednesday afternoon, as he introduced his new family.

"This is Leah, my wife, she is Ukrainian, we meet in a coffee shop, and the rest is history,” Allinson said. “And this is our 5-month-old son, David, born here."

Allinson is an Olentangy High school and Ohio State graduate, now calling the city of Dnipropetrovsk in central Ukraine, his home.

Allinson moved here in 2011.

He now teaches English to workers at IT companies.

"I'm here for the duration,” he says.  “And we're all keeping our fingers crossed that Russia doesn't come our way."

He says the massacre in Maidan Square in Kiev weeks ago was tragic, but a critical turning point.

"It was about people that recognized a very corrupt government," he said.  “The Ukrainian spirit reminds me of the American spirit.  They are very optimistic people, and do the best with what they have."

Despite the Crimean invasion and propaganda war, he says he's not fearful of any more Russian penetration into the country and has no plans to move.

"There's really a birth of a new mentality here, and it's exciting,” he adds.  “Ukrainians want one country - one unified, united country."

But, he believes, it will take years for Ukraine to grow into a freer, more Democratic, prosperous European country.

"Right now, I'm optimistic the Ukrainian spirit will win, that the new government will take hold and do what they're supposed to do," he said.

For now, this Columbus native is enjoying his family half a world away, but is always looking forward to his weekly Skype conversations with his central Ohio family.

Andy tells us his new son, David, will have dual citizenship, with Ukraine and the United States.

They all plan to vacation with family in the Columbus area this July.

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