Mila Kunis explained how she’s changed her parenting in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

Ukranian Mila Kunis, pictured here with her husband Ashton Kutcher at the 2022 Governors Awards on March 25, 2022, shared how she changed
Ukranian Mila Kunis, pictured here with her husband Ashton Kutcher at the 2022 Governors Awards on March 25, 2022, shared how she changed "overnight" how she talks to her kids about their cultural heritage. (Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images )

Mila Kunis just shared how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine inspired her to teach her children about their heritage.

The Black Swan actress, who is married to her That ‘70s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher, spoke to Chris Wallace on his new CNN+ interview series Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace? about how this war has altered how she speaks to their children Wyatt Isabelle, 7, and Dimitri Portwood, 5, about where they come from. Kunis grew up in Ukraine before her family immigrated to the United States when she was 8, in 1991.

“I don’t speak Ukrainian. When I was raised in Ukraine it was still under the USSR umbrella, so I spoke Russian, it is what we all spoke,” Kunis, who was interviewed alongside Kutcher, explained. “My kids understand Russian, I speak Russian with my parents. I just kept thinking, ‘It’s good for them to know another language.’ But I never thought culturally speaking it was important to know where they came from. It never crossed my mind until this happened.”

She shared that “overnight” she and her spouse would speak to their kids about their cultural background, reminding them that they are “half Ukrainian, half American.”

“They were like, ‘Yeah, we get it mom,’” she continued. “It’s ultimately incredibly important to know where you came from because it’s beautiful. It’s amazing to have multiple cultures. It’s a beautiful thing to have out there. We shouldn’t all be alike, we shouldn’t all think alike, that’s the importance of community and growth.”

Kunis and Kutcher have raised millions for Ukrainian relief, and recently spoke to Ukraine’s President Zelensky about the still unfolding situation. Kunis told Wallace, "We're going to continue shipping medical supplies, and humanitarian supplies, and we're going to continue housing. In the meantime, the thing that the people can do, on the internet, in the world, is reach out to these companies and ask them to stop producing and stop working and close their doors in Russia. So I think a little bit of it is us doing an outreach to the court of public opinion."

In addition, the couple is helping create a database of child refugees who are at risk of being vulnerable to human traffickers, as well as donating 20,000 bullet proof vests to the cause.

Kunis previously spoke with Maria Shriver about how, despite always feeling “like an American,” something shifted when watching the news about the recent events in her home country.

“[Russia’s invasion] happens and I can't express or explain what came over me, but all of a sudden I was like, 'Oh my God, I feel like a part of my heart just got ripped out,’” she explained. “It was the weirdest feeling.”

She recalled that she would even previously tell people that she was from Russia for ease.

“It's been irrelevant to me that I come from Ukraine. It never mattered,” she noted. “So much so that I've always said I'm Russian. Like I've always been, 'I'm from Russia' for a multitude of reasons. One of them being when I came to the States and I would tell people I’m from from Ukraine, the first question I’d get was ‘Where is Ukraine?’ And then I’d have to explain Ukraine and where it is on the map… But if I was like, ‘I’m from Russia’ people were like, ‘Oh we know that country.’ So I was like great I’ll just tell people from Russia.”

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