Story by Will Lee
For those of you who do not know, Ukraine is in short of a… change.
Ukraine is a presidential-parliamentary system of government, and recently the citizens, disliking how the (former) president Viktor Yanukovych was treating its people, decided it was time to protest, sending the country into political conflict, which in turn caused the former president to flee to Russia, brought about new leadership, and then provoked Russia to send troops to the Crimea area of Ukraine.
This hits home for one student at MVC, who lived in the Ukraine for the first seven years of his life, with all of his mother’s side of the family still there.
Illya Starikov was born and raised the first part of his life in the eastern side of Ukraine, which is considered the pro-Russian side of the country.
With limited resources to reach his family, Starikov sends messages to his mother, who lives in DeSoto, Mo., and writes to his grandmother.
He said he doesn’t care what happens to the government there. “I just want the whole situation to be over so I know my family is safe,” Starikov said.
Being so far away from your birth country is hard, but to know your family could be in danger from the unrest or conflict is a daily worry for Illya. “Hopefully, when I get a chance to visit my family, all this will have subsided,” he said.
Starikov is a freshman studying computer science/information systems and is a member of the MVC track/cross country team. He hopes to visit family in his home country soon.