“That ’70s Show” star Mila Kunis believes that standing with her native Ukraine doesn’t mean that Russian citizens should be attacked by the world.
“I don’t think that we need to consider the people of Russia an enemy. I do really want to emphasize that,” she remarked. “I don’t think that that’s being said enough in the press. I think that there’s now, ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us’ mentality. I don’t want people to conflate the two problems that are happening.”
“I don’t think it’s the people of Russia,” Kunis, 38, continued. “I don’t want there to be a thing of ‘all Russians are horrible human beings.’ I don’t want that to be the rhetoric. I do encourage people to look at it from the perspective of, ‘It’s the people in power, not the people themselves.’”
The actresses’ family fled Ukraine when it was still part of the Soviet Union in 1991, when she was 7-years-old. Though she hails from the country, her first language is Russian, which is where she tells people she’s from.
“It’s been irrelevant to me that I come from Ukraine. It never mattered,” she told Maria Shriver in an interview for her digital series “Conversations Above The Noise.”
“So much so that I’ve always said I’m Russian. I’ve always been, ‘I’m from Russia’ for a multitude of reasons,” she explained. “One of them being, when I came to the States, and I would tell people I’m from Ukraine, the first question I’d get was ‘Where is Ukraine?’ And then I’d have to explain Ukraine and where it is on the map.”
Since immigrating to the United States and growing up in Los Angeles, she “always felt like an American,” but “everything changed” when Russia invaded Ukraine.
“I can’t express or explain what came over me, but all of a sudden, I genuinely was like, ‘Oh, my God, I feel like a part of my heart just got ripped out.’ It was the weirdest feeling,” Kunis continued. “It doesn’t take away from who I am as a person, but it just adds an entire different layer.”
Kunis and her husband Ashton Kutcher have raised over $22.5 million, including $3 million of their personal funds, to aid Ukrainian citizens during the Russian invasion. The “Bad Moms” star said that she’s astonished by how resilient the Ukrainian people are.
“I’m not pleasantly surprised, but I’m awestricken by this group of people. They’re fighting with their own makeshift weapons,” Kunis said. “It is inspiring.”