Yulia Marushevska, a Kyiv Ph.D. student, is the woman behind the powerful YouTube video “i am a Ukrainian” that has been viewed nearly 7.8 million times as of March 14 since it was uploaded on Feb. 10.
Advertisement - story continues below
The Kiev Post reported:
If she ever makes another YouTube video or movie, Yulia Marushevska wants the next on to be a happy one with a good ending.
Before the Feb. 22 fall of Viktor Yanukovych as Ukraine’s fourth president, the 24-year-old Ph.D. student of Ukrainian literature at Taras Shevchenko National University was known mostly – if at all — as “the girl” on a riveting video that’s been seen more than 7.7 million times.
It’s hard for her or anybody else to explain why her two-minute message went viral, but some of the reasons include her beauty, sincerity and passion. She also delivered a powerful message in accented and imperfect English, giving the video clip even more authenticity…
…She shot the video after the Jan. 22 deaths of the first five protesters, including three from gunshot wounds. Little did she or anyone else know how bad the death toll would get, rising to nearly 100 people by Feb. 20. The video was uploaded by her Los Angeles filmmaking friend Ben Moses on Feb. 10 and quickly went viral.
She made the video partly out of guilty because she felt that she wasn’t doing enough to help the EuroMaidan Revolution and partly out of frustration with foreigners’ ignorance about why demonstrators were camping out on Kyiv’s freezing streets to change their government.
“People know nothing about Ukraine. Ukraine is terra incognita for the world,” she said. “We have to create this Ukraine of great potential of its people, of rich resources with great seas and mountains.”
But more than anything, she hopes that her country is transformed forever and will no longer tolerate corrupt ways embodied by Yanukovych.