Ukrainian-American girl reflects on Russian invasion 10 months later

TULSA, Okla. — In the eyes of 16-year-old Sofiia Laptun, the war in Ukraine is still a bitter and violent one.

“The main, horrible ... events that happened is that in the Main Street of the city, there is a five-story building that was completely obliterated from the 5th to the 1st floor and several people died,” she said.

Laptun spoke with FOX23 on a Zoom call. She explained she and her mother currently live in Tulsa. She moved from Ukraine almost a decade ago. She said most of her family still lives in Ukraine. She first talked to FOX23 in February when the war started.

Now, she said her family is still living in the middle of the fight today.

“I think, although people can get used to something horrible, it’s obviously something that you do not want to get used to. And there’s still a constant worrying and, obviously sleeping patterns have not been available,” she said.

She said some of her family in Ukraine are still without some of the necessities as they continue living, as normally as possible, during the war.

“There’s no electricity. Yes, it’s constantly on and off,” she explained.

Despite her worries for her home country’s future, Laptun said a bright light has been Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He is recently named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.

“Since the beginning, he’s been one of the most deserving people. And I think he is one of the best people to choose for the year, the Times Year award, because he fulfills all his promises and even as a political leader, not just human, but he is willing to do anything for his people,” she said.

She said he stayed when others urged him to leave, and her family also wants to stay hoping for an end to the violence.

“It’s mostly because they believe that there will be progress, and I believe so as well. It’s just troubling in the times that they must live through that to wait for that to happen,” Lapton explained.