Ukrainian student leads anti-war demonstration on Michigan Tech University campus

Adelina Oronoba and around 30 other students, community members, and staff gathered to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine Tuesday.
Students, community members, and staff gathered to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine Tuesday.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 6:24 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Ukrainian students at Michigan Tech University demonstrated in support of their country amid the Russian invasion.

One of them is Adelina Oronoba, who is a native of Eastern Ukraine, close to the Russian border. “We are fighting for the whole world, for democracy,” Oronoba, a Ph.D. Student at Michigan Tech said.

After hearing the news of a large-scale Russian invasion of her country last week, she didn’t know how to react but feared the worst for her friends and family who still live in Ukraine. “During our first days of the invasion, Ukraine was in great shock,” Oronoba said. “I actually was not able to do much except for check on my family and check the news.”

Wanting to do something, Oronoba approached MTU to start a demonstration. After receiving approval, she was joined by around 30 students, community members, and staff on-campus today in solidarity with Ukraine.

In attendance was Nadija Packauskas, whose family is from Lithuania. “We are absolutely concerned about the situation in Ukraine, for our own country, the Baltic States, for the entire world, and for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine,” Packauskas, a Houghton resident, said.

Packauskas led a similar demonstration Sunday at the Portage Lift Bridge. She says her Lithuanian heritage has brought her close to the many Ukrainian and Eastern European students at MTU.

Who hope Russia ends its attacks against democracy. “I know many of the international students here, and all of them are joined together in prayer whether they are Buddhist, Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant,” Packauskas said. “We are all joined together to help all the students and it is impacting their lives.”

Evgenii Sidorov is an MTU student from Northern Russia.

He has many Ukrainian friends trapped in the country. “I have friends in Kyiv who tried to flee the capital but they couldn’t because it was impossible to find something to go to the European border,” Sidorov said. “It’s breaking my heart, I’m devastated and I’m terrified at what is happening.”

Packauskas plans to hold another “Walk for Peace” Wednesday, March 2 at 4:00 p.m. on the Houghton side of the Portage Lift Bridge.

For more information on how to get involved, visit the Yoopers for Ukraine Facebook page by clicking here.

For a list of resources to support Ukraine, visit here.

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