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Ukrainian students speak about unrest in homeland

By: Lauren Hensley

STATE COLLEGE, Pa.-- Ukrainian students in State College are offering prayers and support to their native country. Though geographically far, the issue hits close to home as these students have family and friends who are in the middle of the chaos.

Lviv is a city in western Ukraine.  It is known for its historic churches, national art gallery, and theater of opera and ballet. It is also home to the family of Nataliya Mavdryk, a graduate student studying Russian and teaching her native language to Penn State University students.

I am afraid that if something happens of course that these people and my relatives and my friends would go and I wouldn't say that is bad, it is good and we have to do what we can to stand and defend, Mavdryk said.

Mavdryk is worried about Russia and the Ukraine going to battle after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine to protect Russian citizens there.

Diana Razumow said she's concerned about the latest developments in Ukraine.  Razumow is a part of the Penn State Ukraine Society and has family who still lives there.

I was very upset with what happened because I am very passionate about my culture and heritage, and Ukraine only got their freedom recently from the Soviet Union in the early 1990s and it just hurts to know they keep fighting for their freedom, Razumow said.

For now, there's little Razumow and Mavdryk can do but wait and pray. Mavdryk said her countrys yellow and blue flag symbolizes the clear blue sky over yellow wheat fields in Ukraine and serves as a reminder of how important it is to keep her culture alive.

When I was watching the news when everything was happening I just wanted to be there. When you are with other people and you just feel that you are Ukrainian and you are proud of it, Mavdryk said.  

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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times