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Russian restaurant owners emotional over war in Ukraine

Red Square Euro Bistro owners told 9NEWS they have support from regular customers, but took a few negative comments from people because they're Russians.

DENVER — A nearly 40-year-old Denver business is making its stance known on the war in Ukraine. Red Square Euro Bistro is a restaurant owned by two Russian born Coloradans in Writers Square. 

"Never in my wildest dreams I would imagine something like this happening," Max Ionikh one of the owners said about the Russian invasion. "Just devastated by what’s happening. It’s tough I mean, unfair doesn’t even come close, it’s scary it’s atrocious and it should have never happened." 

Ionikh told 9NEWS the last few weeks have been incredibly emotional. He has had a hard time trying to wrap his mind around the war his home country has gotten involved in. 

"That Thursday when it happened, I pretty much spent that whole Thursday trying to keep emotions in check and not to cry constantly," he explained. "I’m ashamed for my, I don’t want to say country, but it is a country, Russia at war with Ukraine through no fault of Ukraine whatsoever." 

Ionikh said the restaurant has received a tremendous amount of support from their regular customers, but have had a few negative comments from people simply because they're Russian. 

"We hope that something will prevail and people will understand that it's not Russian people, it's certainly not us," he explained. "We are so against this war. This is not Russia's war against Ukraine it's Putin's war against Ukraine."

Ionik wasn't sure if the invasion has impacted business. He explained it was difficult to tell with the numbers the last few years being skewed by COVID but he hoped everyone knew they support Ukraine and any and all are welcome at their business.

"There’s no excuse Russia government can make to justify this invasion. It’s just scary what people are going through right now," he said. "Our heart goes out to everyone in Ukraine."  

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