For the past week, the world has watched Russia carry out a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, killing thousands and displacing more than 500,000. For Harvard student Georgiy Kent ’22, who lived in Kyiv for five years and whose mother is Crimean Tatar, seeing his family’s home region under attack has been acutely painful.
“Not feeling great,” said Kent, a dual concentrator in social studies and Slavic literature and culture. “It’s very hard to focus.”
Kent’s older sister, Elina Alem Kent, is a journalist who spent the last two years with the English-language Kyiv Independent. His mother flew to the city to help Elina just eight hours before the invasion began. They were able to escape the country and cross the border into Poland.
“They’re in Warsaw helping coordinate certain refugee assistance and also buying and sending supplies to people in need in Ukraine,” said Kent, who has been staying up late and waking early to keep up with the news and communications with family. While his loved ones are safe physically, the war has taken a mental toll on them and high school classmates who remain in Kyiv. He has kept in touch with friends through a social media chat they originally set up to coordinate a Minecraft server.