Local man born in Ukraine thinks of family during a time of war

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – As Russian forces escalate their attacks on populated urban areas, including Ukraine’s second largest city, the information and images being shared around the world become unbearable, especially for Ukrainian born Igor Budyshev.

Budyshev, who has been in Bowling Green for a year, is struggling to comprehend the terror now reining over his home country.

“I feel very angry when I watch those videos,” said Budyshev. “The first thing that flashes through my mind is give me a gun … whatever. I’m going to defend my country.”

Budyshev is still in contact with family members who live in Ukraine, but Russia’s attack is forcing their separation. The women and children have fled to neighboring countries for safety while the men, his uncles and friends, stay behind to fight against Russia’s deadly invasion.

“People I started with, people I spent my infancy with … it’s very tough. I feel so much weight on my chest and mental pressure constantly. Thinking about all of them.”

Born to a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother, Budyshev says that the two countries are intertwined and come from the same roots.

“Russians and Ukraine are the same population, the same people, just the language is a little different. That’s it. So I would ask Putin … is it worth it to fight? Do you really think so? To kill innocent people?”

Although he can’t be there to fight back alongside his brothers, he says their message from his birthplace is that they are strong and they will win this war.

“Yeah, they are ready to fight. They are ready to fight.”