UB students w/ ties to Ukraine worry for country

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (WTNH)– The crisis in Ukraine is being watched closely all over the world including here in Connecticut.

The situation in Ukraine is hitting home. Some international students at the University of Bridgeport have families in Ukraine and say they feel helpless as the news unfolds and say it’s a waiting game.

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine has people with ties to the country worried about the future of their families and homeland.

“I was horrified. I was shocked, I was horrified,” said Alona Gaiek, a student.

Alona Gaiek is a graduate student at the University of Bridgeport who majors in global media and communications. She left Ukraine last summer to finish her schooling in Connecticut. She’s been keeping in close contact with her family through Skype and social media.

“The first time when I saw that news I went online and talked to my mom, my friends and my family, and I talked about what is going on,” said Gaiek.

Craig Lennon also left Ukraine for a job as Director of Campus moving his Ukrainian born wife and children back to the states.

Ukranian UB student boy

“What we thought was a stable place in Ukraine, the situation has turned out of control rather quickly,” said Lennon.

Lennon describes the takeover in Crimea as surreal.

“We did not expect a hostile takeover in areas of Crimea. It is unnerving because you don’t know what each day will bring,” said Lennon.

“No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow. Of course people are hoping they would back down and right now it looks like they are backing down,” said Gaiek.

For students, there are a lot of resources on campus such as the international student services and the counseling department.

The University of Bridgeport has over one third of its population international students. It’s a community that’s really sympathetic to some of the conflicts that might be going on in other areas

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