Ukranian students of Puyallup High School affected by armed conflict

Watching the war in Ukraine, half a world away, where Russian armed forced invaded Feb. 24, can feel like watching a movie.
Ukraine is to the east of Russia and was formerly part of the USSR with Russia.
The invasion of Ukraine has had a major impact on both involved parties—there are over 3 million refugees fleeing Ukraine according to the United Nations, with 3,000 civilians killed according to the Ukrainian government. Russia has had many international sanctions placed on them and has been condemned by the United Nations for its’ actions
But while the war in the Ukraine can feel so far away, several students at Puyallup High School are impacted or connected in some way.
Sophomore Myroslav Zavertailo came to America from Donetsk, a city in eastern Ukraine, four months ago.
His family and friends have been hurt by the war, with Zavertailo says (with the help of a machine translation service).
“I am very sorry about what [is happening] in my country,” Zavertailo said.
Zavertailo’s uncle cannot leave Ukraine due to its ban on adult men leaving the country. Some civilians have been given guns by the government for self-defense purposes.
Zavertailo says that his family and friends remaining behind are scared by the near constant danger.
“I [have] relatives there and they are very [scared,] there [is] very constant…shooting,” Zavertailo said.
Sophomore Anhelina Maleichuk moved here from Rivne, a city in western Ukraine with a population of 245,289.
Rivne is a sister city of Federal Way, WA. Russia hit a Rivne military facility with high-speed cruise missiles March 21, killing as many as 80 soldiers.
Maleichuk says she thinks about her family in Ukraine often.
“My cousins and my grandmother live there and I’m very scared [for] them,” Maleichuk said.
The students say they are acclimating to their new reality in America.
Zavertailo says that the American infrastructure is different than in the Ukraine.
“The roads are good [compared to the roads in Ukraine],” Zavertailo said.
Anhelina says that her experience in America has been positive so far.
“The people are very friendly [in America],” Maleichuk said.