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Indiana University students peacefully protest Russian attacks on Ukraine

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Posted at 5:31 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-25 17:39:32-05

BLOOMINGTON — Protests condemning an invasion of Ukraine by Russia are being held across the world, including one at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Students gathered Friday to stand against the attacks., which have prompted stark condemnation and sanctions from the United States and its allies.

Many protesting today are from Ukraine. They said they're worried about their families' safety and are heartbroken to see what's happening in their home country.

Iryna Voloshaynra is an international student from Ukraine studying at IU.

RELATED | Hoosiers with connections to Ukraine watch Russian invasion from afar

"I didn't sleep much in last two days. I am afraid if I go to sleep I'll wake up to worse news," she said.

She's concerned about her mother, father and sister who are still living in Ukraine. They all have suitcases packed in case they need to flee, she said.

"It's just heartbreaking to see my country being invaded. It's just very heartbreaking," said Voloshaynra.

As Russia conducts bomb attacks in some areas, children and families have sought shelter in subways.

RELATED | Gunfire, explosions reported in Kyiv as fighting erupts across Ukraine

"It's a horrible time," said Alexander Stryapunin, who also has a personal connection to the conflict.

"I am Russian. I was born in Russia but am a Ukrainian citizen," he said.

He held signs today calling for peace that read "Putin hands off Ukraine" "Glory for Ukraine and glory for heroes of Ukraine."

While dozens stood together Friday peacefully protesting against the invasion of Ukraine, the conversation won't stop there.

RELATED | 'Take power into your own hands': Putin sends message to Ukrainian armed forces

Students say they plan to have these discussions in the classroom.

"This is not an issue that just affects Ukrainians. This is not an issue that just that affects Europe. This is an issue that affects the world and democracy as a whole," said international student Mason Grey.

"There is no excuse for Russian military or authority, there is no excuse," said Voloshaynra.