Ukraine (KADN) – It has been sixteen days since Russia invaded Ukraine, but it still affects some here in the States as their loved ones are trapped. A student at Nicholls State University who is about to graduate this year, but the invasion cut him short.
Maria Kozachok was about to return to the United States to complete her MBA when Russia invaded her home country of Ukraine. She says her relatives in the United States want her back immediately, but it’s just not that easy.
Former Nicholls State University tennis player Maria Kozachok was due to return to the United States on March 9 after visiting family in Ukraine who she had not seen for two years. “I have three classes left. I’m so ready to finish.”
But her life has come to an abrupt end as she has been trapped there since the Russian invasion.
“All the airports are destroyed, or not even destroyed. Some of them are just damaged. So I can’t fly, and when I will be able to fly, nobody knows,” Kozachok explains.
A few weeks before the attack, her boyfriend in Louisiana told her to come back after news of a possible attack spread. Friends are now begging her to flee Ukraine, but she said… it’s not that simple.
“I can go to Europe, I can go to Poland or Slovakia, and I can fly from there, but it’s dangerous because you never know where they might start shooting. A bullet might hit you “, said Kozachok.
Despite all that is happening, Kozachok tells NEWS15 that the people of his town hope they will emerge victorious. “Everyone in Ukraine believes in a win. We know we are going to win, but yeah, it may take time, but we will get it. Just because of our spirit. Everyone is super optimistic.”
This whole experience has changed the lives of many people in Ukraine, including her.
“Everyone’s priorities have changed 360 degrees. You realize that nothing is more important in this world than life,” Kozachok says.
For her, those who have constantly watched her keep her spirits up, saying it means the world knows someone she may have only met once is watching her.
As for school, Kozachok says Nicholls checks on her daily to make sure she’s doing well. She is currently taking online classes. Her only hope is that she can take the stage for her graduation.