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Ukrainian woman escapes war in Kiev, enrolls at EMU

EMU computer science student Lada Protcheva inside EMU's Welch Hall.
Josh Hakala
89.1 WEMU
EMU computer science student Lada Protcheva inside EMU's Welch Hall.

A young Ukrainian woman found a way to escape Russia’s attack on her home country and has found a new home at Eastern Michigan University.

As soon as the first Russian rocket was sighted near her home in Kiev, Lada Protcheva and her family knew it was time to leave.

They fled to her grandmother’s home in a rural area outside of the city. There, Russian missiles were landing close enough to shake the basement where her family was hiding without electricity.

Protcheva, who had already begun her college education studying computer science, knew she had to go somewhere safer.

“Even my American friend … said ‘Lada, you have to leave because, next day, Ukraine will become Russia’. Like, we expected it, to be honest. But I’m so happy that it’s not Russia yet.”

She decided to come to Ypsilanti, a place she had visited when her sister was attending EMU.

Protcheva’s father remains in Ukraine, and her mother is staying with relatives in Washington D.C.

Lada is adjusting and enjoying her new life as a computer science major. She plans to graduate in a couple of years and hopes to get an internship as a software engineer and begin her career in the U.S.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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