TikTok star born in Ukraine speaks out amid Russian invasion: ‘I know that we will have victory’

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Vik White is opening up about how the invasion of Ukraine hits close to home.

The TikTok star, who previously appeared in “So You Think You Can Dance,” recently took to Instagram and shared with his 2.3 million followers that he’s been closely connected with his family.

The star was born and raised in Ukraine before he moved to Oklahoma at age 12, MUD magazine reported. According to the outlet, White, whose birth name is Slavik Pustovoytov, relocated to Las Vegas after high school to train as a dancer and eventually was placed fourth as a finalist in the competition series.

“I thank you all for reaching out and showing love to my country, my people, my friends and family, and showing your concern,” White began in his post. “And I wanted to get on here and talk about a quick update through a perspective of my dad, my grandpa and grandma, who’ve been, I’ve been keeping up with every single day, getting any updates I can with what’s going on with them and around them. And also my friends who I grew up with in Ukraine, who are now stuck in… the capital city that is being assaulted by Russian missiles and bombs.”

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Vik White, born Slavik Pustovoytov, made his mark on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.

Vik White, born Slavik Pustovoytov, made his mark on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

“Despite what Putin said of only going after Ukrainian military infrastructure, innocent lives have been threatened due to all the missiles and bombs that have been hitting residential areas and apartments,” he shared. “A lot of children and a lot of families are being threatened by this meaningless war than neither Ukraine nor Russian people want. My dad is walking around with a loaded gun, helping volunteers in Ukraine at the front lines, alongside the military to fight this war, to bravely fight this war, and to claim the victory, which I strongly believe in.”

“I have faith in my people,” White continued. “… And I know that in times like this, it’s important to keep our faith up and be strong and not be afraid or have any worry or doubt. I love my people, I love my country and I know that we have the victory.”

White, who also recorded his message in Ukrainian, also asked his followers to reach out if they knew of any organizations that could be of aid.

Contestants Genessy Castillo (R) and Slavik Pustovoytov (L) perform a Broadway routine to ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ choreographed by Al Blackstone on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.

Contestants Genessy Castillo (R) and Slavik Pustovoytov (L) perform a Broadway routine to ‘Someone To Watch Over Me’ choreographed by Al Blackstone on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.
(Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

“I’m also looking for any organizations that will be willing to help the Ukrainian volunteers who are fighting alongside Ukraine, military to fight this war,” White concluded his post. “Any equipment, any medication supplies would be of great help.”

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In his bio, White included a list of resources and organizations that could use donations amid the ongoing conflict.

Previously, White posted a childhood photo of himself during happier times in his homeland.

“I was born and raised in Ukraine, in the city of Poltava,” he captioned the throwback snap. “I had dreams and goals to change the world and make it a better place since I was a little boy, just like millions of kids there right now who are being threatened to have that chance being taken away from them. Why? For the sake of a meaningless war that neither Ukrainian people want nor Russian people want either. The cost of war is too great to measure for the profit of few behind the scenes…#russiaceasefirenow #stopwarinukraine.”

Top 8 contestants Jay Jay Dixonbey, Jensen Arnold, Darius Hickman, Magdalena Fialek, Slavik Pustovoytov, Genessy Castillo, Hannahlei Cabanilla and Cole Mills on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.

Top 8 contestants Jay Jay Dixonbey, Jensen Arnold, Darius Hickman, Magdalena Fialek, Slavik Pustovoytov, Genessy Castillo, Hannahlei Cabanilla and Cole Mills on ‘So You Think You Can Dance’.
(Photo by FOX Image Collection via Getty Images)

Ukrainian troops slowed Russia’s advance on key cities, at least for now, while a Ukrainian delegation arrived at the border with Belarus on Monday for talks with Russian officials. European Union defense ministers were also to meet, to discuss how to get weaponry they have pledged into Ukraine. Meanwhile, Western sanctions triggered by the invasion sent the ruble plummeting, leading Russians to line up at banks and ATMs.

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The Russian military assault on Ukraine went into its fifth day after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his nuclear forces put on increased alert, ratcheting up tensions yet further. Kyiv’s outgunned but determined troops slowed Russia’s advance and held onto the capital and other key cities — at least for the time being.

Explosions and gunfire that have disrupted life since the invasion began last week appeared to subside around Kyiv overnight. Long lines formed outside supermarkets Monday as residents were allowed out of bomb shelters and homes for the first time since a curfew imposed Saturday.

Exact death tolls are unclear, but Ukraine’s president says at least 16 children have been killed and another 45 wounded, among hundreds, perhaps thousands, of other casualties. Millions have fled homes or the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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