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Mila Kunis talks about being Ukrainian amid the war: ‘Part of my heart just got ripped out’

The actor emigrated from Ukraine in 1991, and is feeling the effects of the war there personally, as she explained in a new interview with Maria Shriver.
/ Source: TODAY

Mila Kunis says she felt as if a part of her heart "got ripped out" after Russia invaded Ukraine last month.

The "That '70s Show" actor emigrated from Ukraine in 1991, when she was still a child. She quickly adapted, becoming "LA through and through," as she told Maria Shriver in a new interview. But these days, her ties to Ukraine amid the current war have shifted her feelings.

"I can’t express or explain what came over me (once the conflict broke out) but all of a sudden … I was like, 'Oh, my God, I feel like a part of my heart just got ripped out.' It was the weirdest feeling," Kunis, 38, said in the interview for Shriver's Sunday Paper publication.

Kunis and husband Ashton Kutcher, who've been married since 2015, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help raise money to help Ukrainians and those caught in the war. They pledged to match up to $3 million in donations, and are hoping to raise $30 million; as of Friday, they were over two-thirds of the way there.

Kunis told Shriver she doesn't want people to think of Russian citizens as the enemy. "I think that there's now, 'If you're not with us, you're against us' mentality. ... I don't think it’s the people of Russia and so, I don't want there to be a thing of, 'All Russians are horrible human beings.' I don’t want that to be the rhetoric," she said. "So I do encourage people to look at it from a perspective of, 'It's the people in power, not the people themselves.'"

Kunis urged people to understand that this war can have far-reaching effects beyond Ukraine. "This issue can get incredibly catastrophic for the rest of the world, not just for that part of the world, and I don’t want people to lose sight of that," she said.

She's explained to her children (she and Kutcher have a daughter, Wyatt, 7, and a son, Dimitri, 5) the importance of recognizing where their parents come from.

"I turned to my kids and I was like, 'You are half Ukrainian, half American!'" she said. "Like, I was literally like, 'Look, you!' And my kids were like, 'Yeah, Mom, I get it.' And I was like, 'No! You are Ukrainian and American.' I was like, 'You are half Iowa (Kutcher's home state), half Ukraine.' And they’re like, 'OK, I get it.'"

Shriver's full interview with Kunis will be released Sunday.