Ukrainan student holds rally, speech in Faner Plaza


Sophie Whitten | @sophiewhitten_

Diana Butsko, a Ukrainian SIU student, holds a Ukrainian flag March 2, 2022 in Carbondale, Ill.

Diana Bustko, a second year Master’s student at SIU will give a speech at a pro-Ukraine rally March 3, at 2 p.m. at Faner Plaza. 

Bustko is a Ukrainian international Fulbright Scholar who received a scholarship to study in the United States. She lived in Kiev, where she worked as a political reporter.

Bustko is angry over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. 


“It’s a violation of international law. It’s something that has never happened,” Butsko said. “I think it’s something that the world hasn’t observed since the Second World War. But for me, I find it disturbing,” Bustko said. 

Bustko said the whole week has been hell for her and she constantly keeps checking news outlets because Putin’s forces keep bombing cities and civilians.

“I’m checking to see whether my relatives live there and am constantly in touch with my family,” Bustko said. 

Bustko said her family is suffering and she is trying to raise awareness about the issue any way she can.

“I’m trying to organize fundraising campaigns and organize rallies because the worst thing to do is sit by and do nothing,” Bustko said. 

During her speech she plans to share stories of her family and friends and try to rally students to action by making them aware that it’s not just European safety at stake 

“No one knows where or when Putin will stop and that’s something people should keep in mind,” Bustko said. 


Bustko said students can help by reading the news and following the conflict, even as it fades from major news outlets.

She encouraged them to spread the word on their social media, donate to organizations supporting Ukraine and send letters to local members of  Congress. 

“Your support means a lot to me, my friends and my family. It keeps them alive and reminds them that the world remembers and cares,” Bustko said. 

Staff reporter Joel Kottman can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter: @JoelKottman 

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