Ukrainian Murray State Professor Watches Conflict as His Daughter Films Documentary in Kiev

Feb 20, 2014

Dr. Michael Kalinski and his daughter Lesya Kalinski.

  A Murray State University professor is following the protests in Ukraine closely as his daughter is in the middle of Kiev filming a documentary about the turmoil.

Michael Kalinski is a native of Ukraine and the chair of health sciences and human services. He is concerned about his daughter’s safety following the reports of more than 25 deaths on Independent Square Tuesday.

Kalinski said he has spoken with his daughter several times in the past few days and has asked her to stay out of the area where protesters are gathered.

The professor says she could come back to the U.S. as a permanent resident, but she continues working in Ukraine.

Protests there have stemmed from President Viktor Yanukovych's November 2013 decision to reject an agreement with the European Union in favor of building stronger ties with Russia.

Kalinksi says Yanukovych is Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “creation” to strengthen Ukraine’s ties to Russian. He adds that while President Barack Obama’s call to Ukraine has helped calm some tension, there is more the U.S. can do to help.