As of Now, Peace
Natalia Sopchuk first came to New York City from the western part of Ukraine about six years ago. The war has yet to spread to the West, but Natalia Sopchuk says that her life has still been personally affected by the attacks.
“I live in fear every day,” Sopchuk said.
Many of her relatives; including her parents, her grandparents, and her close cousin, are still in Ukraine.
Brave Enough to Stay
Her family is used to the Ukrainian lifestyle, and they love their country. Natalia Sopchuk knows that this is why her family is reluctant to relocate.
“Life’s more difficult here for me than there because it was easier to live there,” Sopchuk explained.
In Ukraine, people often own their own homes and their vehicles. This once lent a sense of stability, which supported raising a family.
“It’s much easier when you have family around,” Sopchuk added. “Raising children when you have your own home.”
“[In the United States] people live a different life.”
Deciding to abandon such potential for familiarity and live in a more transient culture like that of the United States can seem less than appealing. As a Ukrainian, Sopchuk feels so hopeless. She can send money to the army, but there’s not much else she can do right now.
Russia’s Mad Rhetoric
“[Russia] claims that they are saving Russian-speaking people, but they are not saving them. They’re kill them!”
Natalia Sopchuk knows that Russian propaganda is what is fueling the wrongful war.
“They claim they’re saving people. They’re protecting Russian-speaking people from Nazis. They are saying such nonsense.”
Though she does not blame Russian citizens who fall for the false narrative, and she is certain that many Russian citizens are thoughtful enough to see through the justifications and lies. But she wonders along with the rest of the world, what could possibly be worth all of this? As a native of Ukraine, she simply wants answers because she values her family and their safety.
“This fear that you can lose somebody is just terrible,” Natalia Sopchuk concluded.