Each day, DeKalb High School teacher and Ukrainian Nataliya Zimmerman watches the post-election chaos in the Ukraine, knowing just how much is at stake in her homeland.
"This is a chance for the country to be truly Democratic after fall of communism because of the corruption. The Ukraine can for once but a fully Democratic country," Zimmerman said.
On December 26, Ukrainians will again hit the polls for a second national election after Ukrainian election leaders canceled the November results after findings of widespread fraud. Zimmerman hopes the re-election will be peaceful and avoid possible civil war.
"I hope with all the changes we can do it without people suffering, without any victims," Zimmerman said.
Both the United States and Russia are watching the Ukraine closely. Candidate Viktor Yushchenko is tied to the west and favors the Ukraine joining the European Union. His opponent, Viktor Yanukovych, is tied to the east, and the old Communist, Soviet Model. Locally, Zimmerman believes Yushchenko is her country's best choice.
"Definitely his programs and everything he's done before gives me hope that'd he'd bring democracy to the Ukraine," Zimmerman said.
And just weeks before Ukraine elects its new leader, Zimmerman hopes her country's sharp division won't subtract from its future promise.
"Ukraine should be one country, one people. This is the way to build a better society and I hope for that," Zimmerman said.