Vladyslava Klymenko: War Back Home Affects Her Mentally


Emma Zankoul, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

“Ukraine is a country very unique in culture, freedom and in the variety of choices,” said Vladyslava Klymenko, a Ukrainian exchange student at NDA now in her second year here as a senior.

But NDA is not the only school in the U.S. she has attended. Klymenko went to a high school in Alabama for a year before coming here because she still wanted to stay in America.

“The U.S. offers great opportunities for the future,” she said, which is why she is also thinking about going to college here.

But one thing she does miss about Ukraine is the public transportation and good food even though “school there is way harder.”

And although she likes the community in Green Bay and does not regret coming here at all, she said that it was hard to become a part of her new family and adapt to their rules.

She also mentioned that she really wants to go to Ukraine to see her friends and family. “We still communicate a lot though,” she said, “and that makes the process a lot easier.”

But mostly, Klymenko wants to visit Ukraine to help and support her country which is going through hard times right now with the war.

“I’m trying not to watch the news too much,” she said, because it really makes her very sad, “but there are some things I just can’t ignore.”

Klymenko also noted that the reality of what is happening is a thousand times worse than any news report. “None of the reports are able to describe the amount of pain, drama and tragedies which civilians are going through,” she added.

Although it is very bad, she said that the United States has done an amazing job helping, and that it would be impossible to stand without its help. “The rule of America will be crucial in resolving this war,” said Klymenko.

She also mentioned that even donating a little bit of money or some items for the army would help a lot, and there are many places to do so.  Among those places to donate was a site launched by the President of Ukraine, united24.

Another site given by Klymenko focuses on donations for refugee children: for children.

Even though Klymenko’s family is safe back there and staying away from the city, she still worries about the situation all the time.

“It has definitely affected me mentally,” she said. “It’s crazy how things like that still happen during the 21st century.”

The main thing Klymenko has noticed about Ukrainians since the war started is their solidarity. “No matter who people were before the war, they are now all at the same level,” she said.

She said that everyone there helps and supports each other as much as possible, and that they have all united since the war, which is what makes them so strong.

“I’m very proud to be Ukrainian because of this great culture,” added Klymenko, “and I hope that we can spread this spirit to all the countries in the world.”