Local Ukraine activist not surprised by Malaysia jet tragedy

Activists from around the world join together on social media to support Ukraine during crisis. (Amanda Brandeis)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As investigators try to piece together what happened, people here in Austin are still trying to make sense of the tragedy.

A local Ukranian activist has been closely following the crisis between Ukraine and Russia, and says she’s not surprised something like this happened. Chris Wynnyk Wilson has had many sleepless nights for the past few months.

“It’s in our blood. We were raised to be very patriotic to Ukraine,” said Wilson. “It’s not an obligation, it’s part of who we are.”

So the news of Thursday’s tragedy was painful.

“Sadly, we’re not surprised. This was bound to happen at one point.”

As a first generation Ukranian-American, the conflict in her homeland has weighed heavy on her heart. Wilson is the co-founder of Digitalmaidan, a Twitter effort for Ukraine. She also works for EuromaidanPR, which runs Facebook, blog and Twitter accounts.

“There has not been much sleep since November, but there’s been an international community, fostered and formed that’s determined to stand with Ukraine.”

Wilson is in constant communication with friends and family in Ukraine.

“He sends me messages everyday about what their conditions are like, they don’t have shoes, they don’t have food to eat, they sleep on the floor.”

She’s also part of a community on social media called EuromaidanPR. It is made up of activists from around the world who believe in a democratic and united Ukraine that is free from foreign pressure.

“The UN, NATO, the European Union just aren’t stepping up to the plate, and after today, I think things are going to change.”

She’s hopeful in the wake of this tragedy, nations around the world will come to Ukraine’s aid.

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