Russian woman living on Coast balancing emotions of Ukrainian invasion

As Ukraine continues to be ravaged by violence, countries around the world are issuing reprimands for Russia.
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 9:35 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2022 at 10:17 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - As Ukraine continues to be ravaged by violence, countries around the world are issuing reprimands for Russia. Those sanctions and military strikes are hitting home for a Russian woman living in South Mississippi.

Thoughts of what’s happening in Lana Popova’s home country of Russia and neighboring Ukraine are constant.

“I’m just disappointed and confused because it’s not okay. I’m afraid that the situation will get worse,” said Popova.

For now, Popova is still able to speak to her family back in Russia.

“They feel so sorry about the whole situation about Ukraine because we have very good friends who are very close to our family too,” Popova said. “The Russian people are trying to explain we are with you (Ukraine), we love you, but we can’t stop it. How can we stop it, it’s not up to us, it’s up to our government.”

Since moving to the Coast two years ago, Popova has taught children ballet. While dance is her passion, the growing restrictions against Russia are making her life more unpredictable as she’s becoming more homesick with uncertainty surrounding her family.

“I’m stuck here because they’ve canceled all the flights and communications between the United States and Russia,” she said.

Popova said her family is starting to personally feel the economic sanctions.

“Now there’s absolutely nothing in the stores, they have problems getting food, toilet paper and all the stuff,” said Popova.

Popova recognizes that communication with her family could be could cut off and she makes the most of each conversation.

“I tell them so many times that I’m here, I can’t come back right now, please be alive, happy and support each other, I love you,” Popova said. “They always answer by saying we love you to.”

When watching the destruction in Ukraine, Popova feels heartbreak and she has a message for her government.

“We are brothers and sisters with each other. That’s why I say, please just stop hurting civilians. Let’s be good and kind towards each other,” said Popova.

Popova’s current temporary work visa allows her to stay in the United States until 2024.

Want more WLOX news in your inbox? Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Copyright 2022 WLOX. All rights reserved.