Mila Kunis And Aston Kutcher Want Their Kids To Know They’re Ukrainian
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led the actors to teach their children about their heritage.
Like many children of immigrants, Ukrainian-born Mila Kunis speaks to her parents in their first language — Russian — and her young kids also understand what they’re hearing.
But Kunis told CNN’s Chris Wallace on Thursday that before Russian troops launched their attack on Ukraine in February, she hadn’t given the matter of teaching her children about their heritage much thought beyond “it’s good to know another language.”
That changed quickly once the invasion began, Kunis said.
“It seemed like overnight we both turned to our kids and were like, you are half Ukrainian, half American,” she told Wallace. “It never crossed my mind until this happened.”
Kunis, 38, and her husband Ashton Kutcher, 44, are parents to daughter Wyatt Isabelle, 7, and son Dimitri Portwood, 5. The Four Good Days actor was born in Chernivtsi when Ukraine was still part of the USSR, and was raised speaking Russian. She immigrated to the United States with her parents in 1991, the same year that the Soviet Union fell and Ukraine declared its independence.
“It is ultimately incredibly important to know where you come from, because it’s beautiful, it’s amazing,” Kunis said.
Pride in her family’s culture has motivated Kunis, along with Kutcher, to spearhead a campaign to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. Their GoFundMe initiative, Stand With Ukraine, has exceeded its original $30 million goal, including $3 million in matching funds provided by the couple.
“I have never been more proud to be a Ukrainian,” Kunis says in their original video on the fundraising site.
As of date, the couple has raised more than $35 million, with 73,800 donations. The money will be directed to Flexport.org, which is providing relief supplies to refugees, and Airbnb.org, which is providing housing.
Kunis and Kutcher told Wallace that they remain dedicated to supporting the Ukrainian people. Kutcher mentioned a recent shipment of 20,000 bulletproof vests to Ukraine, and Kunis encouraged people to pressure international companies to “close their doors in Russia” and to support Ukrainian businesses for the day “when they can go home.”