Conflict in Ukraine is a family matter for some Redhawks

In what is being called a “peacekeeping” mission by the Kremlin, Russia has sent troops into eastern Ukraine in what is another step in the growing tension in eastern Europe

Although there have been growing tensions between the countries, for first generation Ukranian-American sophomore Karina Grokhovskaya, the conflict heightening to this extent is something new.

It’s kind of started to be more real to me that something could happen,

— sophomore Karina Grokhovskaya

“I just lived with that tension so now that it’s kind of spiked more, it’s kind of started to be more real to me that something could happen,” Grokhovskaya said. “I just hope that people, even here in the U.S., understand the severity that it is right now.”

Grokhovskaya is one of several Ukrainian students on campus, with each one most concerned for their family in Ukraine, and how the conflict is directly impacting them.

“My concern is that it’s getting really bad at this point,” junior Emma Zubov said. “If it does really happen it’s just really scary to me. My grandma and my dad have family there and so does my mom,so it’s really scary.”

Both of junior Alexandra Vasilkovsky’s parents are from Ukraine and she is worried about their safety.

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“Most of my family that lives in Ukraine, it’s not going to be good,” Vasilkovsky said. “Everybody’s scared of what’s going to happen and is this something that people were expecting, yes, because this has been going on forever, and I don’t know if it ever will stop.”

Ever since tensions began escalating months ago, students on campus have been overheard making comments about the conflict being the start of a third world war. 

For many Redhawks, this was said in jest. For Zubov and Grokhovskaya, it’s a real concern.

“I honestly also did speculate it as World War III,” Zubov said. “It is pretty scary, but I don’t think that people should take it as a joke, and keep on like saying things about it.”

“People are just saying it’s gonna be like World War III,” Grokhovskaya said. “I mean honestly, it could be, it’s not like a joke to joke around about. It’s going to affect everybody pretty much in the world so I think people joking about it is a little bit insensitive.”

I don’t think that people should take it as a joke, and keep on like saying things about it,

— junior Emma Zubov

But despite Russian troops moving into his homeland on Tuesday, Grokhovskaya’s dad, Ukrainian immigrant, Konstantin Grohovskiy, has high hopes for the safety of his family amidst the situation, as well as the future of Ukraine.

“My family and relatives who are in Ukraine, they are safe,” he said. “I believe in the wisdom of the Ukrainian government and all the international support that all the countries are providing. I believe in a bright future for Ukraine, because Ukraine has great resources, great people, great will and spirit which goes back centuries.”