“I can’t keep in touch”

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – Daria Antonovskaya is a freshman at LSU studying biochemistry.

She says it’s hard to stay focused on her studies, part of her right now is worried about her native Ukraine.

“My family tries to stay calm and focused. They, of course, tell me that everything is fine and that they are staying at home, ”explains Antonovskaya.

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She is one of two dozen Ukrainian and Russian students at LSU who are worried about loved ones back home.

Antonovskaya has four younger siblings, as well as her parents, grandparents and several friends who are currently in Ukraine amid the Russian invasion.

“I keep in contact with them and I can hear alarms, different stuff like that. Of course they are anxious because they have children there, they also have their parents,” she says.

Antonovskaya says it’s very stressful being away from her family and it’s not easy to see all of this unfold through the news and social media. Today she shared some of her favorite photos from her country with WAFB, not sure if it will be the same the next time she visits her home.

Other military rockets appear to be fired from Russian territory into Ukraine. (Source: CNN)

“I left my country and the people there to suffer. I have no chance to help them directly and I cannot keep in touch with my family and friends. So, yes, it’s sad,” she adds.

Even though she’s away from home, Antonovskaya says she still wants to do something. She wants to let her family and her country know that they are not alone, and even all the way to America she thinks of them.

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“People are very united in Ukraine and they are very strong. I would like to encourage them to stay strong and not feel like they don’t have support because I hope Ukrainians… I hope they feel our support,” she said.

Antonovskaya is teaming up with other LSU students to set up a table on campus to educate students on what’s happening in Ukraine. They also hope to gain support for other international students whose home countries may also be affected by military conflicts.

LSU’s International Cultural Center is already working on some plans to help its students during the crisis.

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