From 6,099 Miles Away

Junior Illia Myronov, Ukrainian immigrant, reflects on how the Russian invasion has impacted him


Kumud Arora

Russia first invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. Since then, more than six million Ukrainians have fled the country.

Kumud Arora, Reporter

When he first found out that his home country Ukraine had been invaded, Illia Myronov ‘23 felt hopeless. Myronov felt very shocked that Russia had actually followed through on its threats to invade his home country.

“It was late, around 10 p.m. I was sitting in my room and my father informed me that Russia invaded Ukraine,” Myronov said. “I was nervous, I wasn’t sure how it would go. At home, my family had been affected. I was worried about them.”

Myronov’s grandparents live in Kyiv, the country’s capital. He periodically called them on Skype to ensure their well being. Myronov’s grandfather moved to the U.S. when the invasion started and has lived with Myronov since. Myronov also routinely talks to his childhood friends remaining in Ukraine whom he spent his time in middle school with.

“The night that I found out about the invasion, I messaged my friends and talked to them to find out if they were alright,” Myronov said.  

In addition to touching base with his friends and family living in Ukraine, Myronov got involved with local efforts to raise awareness about the war in his home country. Back in March, he attended a demonstration in front of the state capital, along with others from Ukraine an in support of their cause, to express their loathing for the war going on in Ukraine and the atrocities committed by Russia. However, Myronov felt that even the united front the rally inspired could not make the real impact required to alleviate the situation. 

“I wouldn’t really say that the rallies helped [a lot], but it was pretty nice to participate in them to bond with the community during those hard times,” Myronov said.

Although the situation in Ukraine hasn’t changed much since the invasions started, Myronov seems to have found a new hope. Helping make posters, and host fundraisers and create awareness across Austin to help the crisis in his home country has given Myronov a larger purpose, and is propelling him to keep pursuing his passion to help the people of Ukraine. 

“I feel like the situation in Ukraine is a lot more stable right now. My parents are keeping closer contact with my grandparents, [and] they seem alright,” Myronov said.