MOSCOW, Idaho. – On the other side of the world, Russia is invading and attacking Ukraine, lives lost each day. Across the globe, protestors are taking to the streets to send a message against this conflict, uniting with Ukrainians who are facing this war.
Miriam Kent speaks on behalf of the Palouse Peace Coalition, a small group who has been coming to downtown Moscow for 21 years to protest all war.
Now, they are protesting Vladimir Putin’s Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“I feel like we’re a sleepy little peace group, and I wish we did more,” Kent said.
Kent cried when the Iraq war began years ago, so naturally, she believed she would cry when Putin’s war began weeks ago. However, instead of crying she felt discouraged. Time after time, seeing war play out in our world.
“I’m pretty scared myself, I’m upset, and the nuclear threats are just unfathomable,” Kent said.
Fear spreading throughout the world as Russia destroys homes and lives in Ukraine.
Andrii Zhuravchak, a Ukrainian Washington State University student, knows this feeling all too well.
“My mom was calling me saying that ‘Andrii it was a missile, 100 kilometers away from us, from our home, and we heard everything,’” Zhuravchak said.
His family is stuck in Ukraine, though they are in a relatively safe area of the country, for now. Zhuravchak is only in his second semester at WSU, studying to receive his master’s degree. He says he does not want to be in the states, rather he wants to be at home with his family, protecting them.
“I would love to be there,” Zhuravchak said.
Maybe not with a weapon in his hands, but Zhurachvak wants to help end Putin’s war in any way he can.
“I do something here, I’m trying to donate money, I’m trying to speak with people, I’m trying to speak with you right now,” Zhuravchak said.
While his family is helping provide food and shelter for Ukrainian refugees, Zhuravchak’s best friend is fighting in Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
“Every day and every morning and every night, I’m just checking to see if he has posted his story or not,” Zhuravchak said.
Relying on social media to make sure his best friend is still alive.
The stress and the fear getting closer and closer to him, Zhuravchak can’t sleep.
“Tell him he needs to picture his friend and picture safe thoughts, try to send him some good energy, however he would do it, prayer or just thinking about him in a good way,” Kent said. “It’s something positive he can do with his love, and his inability to do something on the physical plane.”
Zhuravchak is grateful for protestors like Kent around the world.
“It is kind of a sense of unity,” Zhuravchak said. “It’s unity against some war, against evil, all of the destruction and killing.”
The Palouse Peace Coalition will be in downtown Moscow from three to four p.m. every Friday, standing with Ukrainians, standing with Zhuravchak and his family.
“If you are not standing against it, you’re actually for it,” Zhuravchak said.
Links Andrii wanted to share to help Ukraine: