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Eastman grad tries to support his native Ukraine with his music

 Eastman School of Music graduate and violinist, Kostia Lukyniuk
Kostia Lukyniuk
Eastman School of Music graduate and violinist, Kostia Lukyniuk

A recent Eastman School of Music graduate who is from Ukraine is back in that country now. And Kostia Lukyniuk is trying to use his music as a way of inspiring support for Ukraine.

Lukyniuk and his brother Markiian, who both play violin, recently made a short music video of the brothers playing a song that went viral on Facebook.

Speaking with WXXI News from his hometown, Chernivtsi, in Western Ukraine, Kostia said that the piece he and his brother are playing in the video was meant to bolster the already strong spirit many Ukrainians and their supporters have in trying to fend off the Russian invasion.

“This specific one was a recording of a folk song that is more like a warrior folk song, to sort of lift up the spirits of our defenders and people who are fighting for us,” said Lukyniuk.

Lukyniuk also used the Facebook post to provide links to organizations trying to gather donations and other support for Ukraine.

“They share this link and people can find ways to help my country, and that’s my mission right now,” said Lukyniuk. “During times like this, I need to be that sort of vessel, and give that platform to my people.”

Lukyniuk had to leave the U.S. recently when his visa expired. He spent some harrowing times in Kiev before heading to his hometown in Chernivtsi. He hopes to eventually come back to the U.S. to continue with his graduate studies.

In the meantime, the 22-year-old Lukyniuk is doing what he can to help organize fundraising efforts for Ukraine, both in that country and at his former home in Rochester. He is resolute about the prospects ahead for Ukraine, in trying to remain out of Russian government control.

“Ukraine is an amazing country, we’re our own independent country, we have our own amazing culture and some very envious and evil people are trying to take it away from us. “We are fighting and we will be fighting until the last person,” said Lukyniuk.

Copyright 2022 WXXI News

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's Director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.