Interview with Daria and Dmytro

Daria is pursuing her Ph. D. in Cell and Molecular Biology here at BU, while Dmytro just finished his Doctorate in Computer Science this year.

Daria and Dmytro are both from Kyiv, which, in their eyes, was the “best city in the world”. Parks and buildings juxtaposed against one another; old, European structures coexisted with new, modern skyscrapers. Most notably, the city was a hub of small businesses, some of which so unique and experimental (what in the world is a chemistry-based bar?) that I had never seen nor heard of them. To pursue any ideas or passions people might have, Kyiv was the place to go. The ancient capital was up with the times: Apple Pay in the metro (first in the world to do so), electronic passports, and so many higher education institutions to count, even with both hands.

But the war reduced everything to two words: “currently stable.” With a calm face but anxious voice, Daria told me that it was as safe as it could get. Under the backdrop of war, it means little: parents are out of jobs, the economy in shambles, and the future up in the air. The word “safe” returned to its pre-modern, most primitive and barebones notion.

Daria and Dmytro, longing for a home they could not get back to, and not knowing if home would still be there when everything is over, are trying to stabilize their lives here in the US so as to be able to go back at some point in the future. In their spare time they are volunteering to help in whatever way they can, even starting a non-profit aiming to transfer medical supplies to Ukraine, which will soon be operational.

But despite all those uncertainties, Daria and Dmytro’s faith in the Ukrainian people and resolve to make their own dent are unwavering. “Literally every Ukrainian person is trying to help in their own way,” Dmytro told me. Love for one’s nation needs not refined language.

When I asked what BU can do to help:

“Call it a war,” Daria told me. For the administration, it would be the first enabling step to more extensive institutional responses.

Sam Duan
BU CAS ’24

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