‘Worst thing that can happen’: Russian EWU student speaks on home country’s invasion in Ukraine

SPOKANE, Wash. – As the war in Ukraine continues, people from all over are standing by Ukrainians. Some Russians are feeling torn because they’re feeling torn because they love their home country but don’t agree with the invasion.

While some people from Russia are supporting President Vladimir Putin, many more are against the war and are protesting to stop it. People across the world are watching what’s happening in Ukraine. Those who are closer to it, people who are from Russia, are feeling heartbroken as they bear witness to what their country is doing.

Protests are popping up across the globe. From eastern Europe to Eastern Washington, people are being vocal in their support for Ukrainians.

Eastern Washington University student Gregory Demin is one of them. He was born and raised in Russia. He moved to Spokane in 2017 with his dad and brother to attend EWU and major in film.

However, school has been a little more difficult recently as his home country invades Ukraine.

“For the last five days, I couldn’t really sleep well, because I’m always checking the news,” he said. “This is the worst thing that can happen.”

His mom and his other brother are still in Russia. He talks to his mom every day, who also says she just wants peace.

“I wasn’t really afraid for them until the comments of Russian government about nuclear weapons,” Demin said.

He continues to watch the news coming out of Ukraine, feeling helpless not knowing what he can do from Spokane.

It’s also been a difficult week for him, as the war is also creating conflict with his friends.

“I already can say that I lost some friends in that meaning we have different perspectives, yeah,” he said.

Demin believes he’s on the right side, feeling terrible for the Ukrainians and the invasion, and knows this war is not good for his home country, too.

“I see that no matter what will happen, how this war will end, it will affect Russian people so badly,” he said.

While Demin worries for his mom, his mom worries for him and his brothers, too. Demin says there’ve been Russians who are being harassed because of the invasion, however, he says he hasn’t been on the receiving end of it yet.

As Demin continues to focus on school, he doesn’t know what will happen in the future and whether or not he’d go back to Russia.

“Since all of this started, I just don’t know what to do next,” he said. “I am in a tough spot.”

READ: Spokane physician flying to Poland-Ukraine border to help those displaced by Russia’s invasion

READ: ‘It’s important’: How a Spokane school is teaching about the Ukraine crisis in real-time