Ukrainian students in Boston area watching developments in home country

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Ukrainian college students living in the Boston area are watching the developments in their home country closely and checking in with their families around the clock.

The moment that Russian troops invaded Ukraine early Thursday was devastating to those who have been trying to remain optimistic about the situation.

Boston 25 News spoke with four college students from Ukraine who said their loved ones are hunkered down at home amid the carnage unfolding at cities and bases.

The potential of another wave of attacks is weighing on their minds.

“The problem now for many people is to stay at home and be scared because they don’t know what’s going to happen next,” said Harvard freshman Yegor Tverdokhlibov. “People thought Russia was bluffing.”

The graphic images of airstrikes across parts of Ukraine have been surreal for students keeping in constant communication with their families.

“It is very difficult, and sometimes I do feel hopeless,” said Harvard sophomore Nika Rudenko. “It is indeed happening only in our territories, but it can spread very rapidly and to the rest of the world.”

The students Boston 25 News spoke with all believe stricter sanctions are necessary in response to Russia’s violence.

“We need to implement all the sanctions. We cannot wait for any further steps because Russia already made the furthest step it could,” said MIT freshman Sasha Horokh.

President Biden said the U.S. and its NATO allies will meet Friday to “map out” how they will next counter Moscow.

Biden and NATO allies have repeatedly said they will not send forces into Ukraine to engage with Russia.

“I would hope for other countries to get involved,” said MIT sophomore Vlada Petrusenko. “This actually terrifying to see how things are moving forward.”