vitaliy kushnir ukraine

Vitaliy Kushnir in his Ukrainian coffee shop and store in Saskatoon. (David Shield, CBC)

Saskatchewan's Ukrainian community is concerned about the country's political situation after a Malaysian jetliner was shot down on Thursday.

298 people were killed when Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was shot down by what senior U.S. officials are calling a surface-to-air missile.

Those officials believe the missile came from rebel-held areas near the Russian border.

"This problem is not a Ukrainian problem, it is not a European problem, it is a world problem," said Saskatoon native David Prokopchuk. "We've now lost 300 totally innocent souls."

Prokopchuk is in regular contact with friends and family in Ukraine, and served as an observer during the country's elections in May.

He would like to see military intervention from Europe and North America.

"To be honest with you, Mr. Obama's actions have been cowardly," he said. "I believe European actions have been even worse."

Vitaliy Kushnir immigrated to Canada from Ukraine seven years ago. He says friends and family are getting increasingly frustrated with the political situation.

"It's not a question about being nervous," he said. "They're really mad. Extremely mad, and they try their best to help the Ukrainian army."

Kushnir worries the situation will get worse before it improves.

"Nobody thinks about people," he said. "They think about money, they think about power, anything, but not about people."