Ukraine@MIT holds memorial for Ukrainian students

Vigil showcased dozens of student profiles

On Feb. 26, Ukraine@MIT held a memorial at Lobby 13 for Ukraine students who lost their lives during the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began over two years ago. The exhibition was called “Unissued Diplomas” and paid respects to students who lost their lives in the Russo-Ukrainian War.

Student profiles were displayed, each with a paragraph detailing facts about their life such as their names and age, their activities in university, and their hobbies. 40 such diplomas of these students were put up around the lobby, and the vigil began with a minute of silence.

Ukrainian students also shared their own experiences with the war. Sasha Horokh ’25, a Course 14 and 18 student, said in their speech that many of their classmates from high school enlisted in the army soon after the Russian invasion. They detailed how their classmates did this to protect their own homes and families from the war, and how Ukrainian students had to learn skills like first-aid as part of their curriculum in school.

Horokh said that they all thought that animosity between Russia and Ukraine was “leftover from World War II.” However, they said that this war had already been going on for ten years when Russia annexed Crimea. 

In an email to the MIT community, Tarash Yushchenko ’26, Vice President of Ukraine@MIT and son of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, wrote that “it would mean a lot if the [MIT community] could join [their] fellow Ukrainian students in honoring two years of pain, hardship, courage, and freedom.”