Indiana News

Purdue University students from Ukraine feel impact of war

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — Members of the Russian and Ukraine clubs at Purdue University have a unique perspective on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sasha Marcone is president of the Russian Club at Purdue. She is actually part Ukrainian and says she initially joined the Russian Club because she loves the language.

“My mom is from Kyiv; I have grandparents over there right now. My dad’s American; he learned Russian through the Army,” Marcone said. “When I first joined Purdue, Russian was my first language. I also lived in Perm, Russia, for a few years. So, I was born here, moved there, and lived there for a couple of years. That’s why I speak Russian.”

Marcone says her family is actually split between Ukraine and Russia, making this war very difficult on them.

“They have been speaking against this war. They see it as unnecessary; it’s killing people that they know, essentially,” Marcone said.

Ksenia Lewyckyj is president of the Ukraine Club at Purdue. She also has ties to Ukraine. She says the people she’s spoken with on both sides are against the war, but that doesn’t mean Ukrainians want unification.

“This is not a war among Russian people and Ukrainian people,” Lewyckyj said. “This is Putin’s war, but we still don’t want to be a part of Russia, and we don’t want to be [considered] Russian because that’s part of Putin’s plan, by saying he’s unifying Ukraine and Russia because they’re the same people, and that’s simply not true,” Lewyckyj said.

Tanya Masnyk is also Ukrainian and has a lot of family in Ukraine, trying to survive. Masnyk says it’s hard to go through everyday life while knowing what’s happening in her country.

“It’s strange, going from my two hour break in classes, reading the news, and worrying about my family and my country, to going to class and having a casual conversation with someone,” Masnyk said.