With Ukraine on the brink of a civil war, a graduate student who works as a journalist in the the country is in Buffalo to tell her story.
Slavka Kutsay appeared Monday night at Buffalo State College to present "Stories of Student Activism from Ukraine." As part of our ongoing "Focus in Education" reporting, WBFO's Eileen Buckley looks at how Kutsay has fought for higher education and has remained a peaceful protester during this time of unrest.
"Now we call things which are going on in Ukraine the 'Revolution of Dignity', to show the whole world that we exist and we are against the violence," said Kutsay, who is working on her master’s degree at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyl Academy. She also works as Ukrainian print journalist.
Kutsay traveled to Buffalo through a relationship she formed with Kim Kline, chair and associate professor of Higher Education at Buffalo State College. Last year, Kline was in the Ukraine teaching as a Fulbright Scholar. Kline tells WBFO News students are passionate about participating in the protests in Ukraine.
"They really were instrumental. They were some of the first protestors," said Kline. "They were some of the first students there and if it weren't for them, it may not have turned from a set of protests to a revoluation. So, she was part of all that."
Kutsay's trip was planned to Buffalo was planned before the uprising.
"As far as I know, and as I concluded from the Russian media, people who use to watch it are quite brainwashed," noted Kutsay.
Kutsay says she is very concerned for family and friends.
"Oh that's just scary. That scares me because I am worried about the safety of my parents," said Kutsay.
Kutsay said feels a bit guilty being in the United States and not at the "epicenter of the revolution," but plans to leave Buffalo this Friday and return Monday to continue her work.
She is urging Americans to show support through social media by using the hashtag #Ukraine on Twitter or post on Facebook. Kutsay said it could be significant for those in the midst of this revolution.