Ukrainian-born Ilona Fountain discusses Russian-Ukrainian war

Morgan Bridges, Print Managing Editor

Ilona Fountain speaks on her connection to Ukraine and her thoughts considering the current Russian invasion of the country.

Fountain detailed her early life in Ukraine before her family came to the US in May of 1978.

  • “I was seven years old,” said Fountain. “My father was a chemist, and he spoke English. He knew some folks, some people, and so we were able to get a visa to come to the US.”
  • “You know, I went to school in the US and learned to speak English here,” said Fountain. “During the day, I would go to regular school and sit back in the back of the room not understanding anything, and then at night, I’d go to night school to learn to speak English.”
  • Fountain and her family moved to Bulloch County in 1997. 

Fountain spoke on her personal thoughts in regards to the Russian-Ukrainian war.

  • “I am very happy that the West is supporting Ukraine financially, with tools and weapons,” said Fountain. “It’s just sad that Russia invaded a sovereign country. What I would like to see happen is that this is a turning point for Russia, and that this does not happen again.”
  • “It’s so hard to see, you know, who knows who’s really going to win this war?” said Fountain. “We really don’t know. It’s just kind of up in the air.”

Fountain expressed immense gratitude for the support for Ukraine both locally and internationally.

  • “I mean, it feels very supportive, and everyone has been very encouraging,” said Fountain. “You do have some that don’t believe in it. Don’t understand it. Don’t support it. They feel like the US and the West are wasting the money given to Ukraine.” 
  • “I believe this has been an eye opener, because it’s been so visual,” said Fountain. “You’re able to actually see what’s going on, and I think this is the first time ever a war has been this publicized, like where you can see the cruelty, the murders — everything.”
  • “I have done a lot of speeches and a lot of fundraisers, and this past March Bulloch County raised over $32,000 for Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, which was amazing,” said Fountain. “Everyone I have talked to hopes this will soon be resolved.”