ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A recent graduate of the Eastman School of Music is heading back to his home country of Ukraine. This, as Russian troops continue to amass forces on the eastern and northern border of the country. The former student is facing an uncertain future there — as Moscow continues its game of military chess in that region.
With his visa set to expire, Kostia Lukyniuk, who goes by the stage name ‘Kostia Violin’, is heading home to the western portion of Ukraine. The situation is uncertain– as Russia continues to amass forces on the border. But this kind of aggressive action from Moscow is nothing new to Kostia.
“They took a part of my country, which is Crimea. They invaded it and took it with no backlash from the international community,” he says referring to the 2014 takeover of Crimea.
Kostia just graduated from the Eastman School of Music, his passion is the violin. He hopes to be able to take his talents back to a place– that is free of any potential conflict.
“I’m really glad I just pushed it through, and now I have a diploma, I have this performance certificate, I’m just very excited,” he says.
The chance to play for his family and countrymen is something that excites him. While he lives away from where the Russian troops are setting up forces, it could still put that musical future in jeopardy– should anything happen. It’s a situation that could quickly spiral.
“I would definitely not want any troops from any country there. I would not want American troops there. I would not want it to turn into another Afghanistan,” he says concerned about any occupying force.
He hopes Russian President Vladimir Putin backs away and eventually returns Crimea. Ukraine he says has plenty of its own culture to offer the world without any intervention.
“We have amazing music, we have amazing talents, and we have amazing food. If anybody wants to try something, you guys gotta try Borscht,” he says (Borscht, a kind of beet soup).
In a way, he’s confident something will be worked out– and he will play in peace. “I am just excited to go back home, I’m excited to share my music,” he says.
Kostia has a new music album ‘Blessed’ dropping Thursday. If you want to hear some more of his violin music, click here.