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Community invited to Cultural Thursday: “24” and Ukraine  

The community is invited to attend Central Lakes College’s next Cultural Thursday event, happening at noon on Thursday, February 8 in the Chalberg Theatre, Brainerd campus. Speaking will be CLC Ukrainian student Mary Kharytonova, who will discuss her book “24” and her experiences after Russia invaded her country. 

Kharytonova’s life changed forever when Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. After spending a couple of weeks hiding in her home with her mom, the lack of food and medicine, and Russian troops getting closer, drove the pair to seek refuge in Poland.   

In the dead of night, Kharytonova (with a cat in her backpack and suitcases in hand), walked 9 miles with her mom and best friend to the Polish border.   

After reaching the border, Kharytonova eventually came to Minnesota, where she chose to study Graphic Design at CLC. Now in her second year at the college, Mary wanted to do something for her friends, family, and those who are still in Ukraine. 

Mary shares her reflections on her journey and co-authoring (with her friend Sofiia Vasylenko) the book “24”, a collection of 24 stories from Ukrainians who faced terrifying, tragic, and hopeful situations since the war started.  

Cultural Thursday is the monthly cultural literacy program of Central Lakes College where we invite and host speakers from around the world to help us better understand the diverse peoples, perspectives, and places of our planet. 


About Jessie Perrine

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