Ukraine-Russia War

Ukrainian Parliament Member With Ties to Silicon Valley Vows to Stay in Her Country and Fight

NBC Universal, Inc.

A member of the Ukrainian parliament with strong ties to the Bay Area is vowing to stay in her country's capital and fight.

Kira Rudik, a 36-year-old software engineer, member of the Ukrainian government had never held a gun before. Now, she carries one daily.

"There is running with a rifle, standing with a rile, and it's like 'ready, aim fire, ready, aim fire,' situation," she said explaining her daily weapons training.

Rudik never thought she'd have to learn to fire a gun, until Russia invaded Ukraine nearly two weeks ago.

"You do lots of loading and unloading and loading and unloading the gun because you need to be able to do it when your hands are shaking, when bullets are flying all over the place," she said, and you need to be able to do it without even thinking of it."

With more than 2 million people having fled the country, Rudik has vowed to stay in the capital city of Kyiv and fight if necessary for her country and her people.

"I'm telling them we are fighting," she said. "This is what my role as a leader is, this is what I'm doing and this is what I'm going to do."

Rudik has deep roots in the Bay Area as she attended leadership training at Stanford University. As the former Chief Operating Officer of Ring, she has close connections to Silicon Valley as well.

"I do have roots in the Bay Area and I hope these roots are doing well right now," she said. "I'm sending all the love, but as a person on the kill list I cannot be talking about my family."

Rudik says the show of support from the Bay Area and around the world has been a huge help as Ukrainians face Vladimir Putin's forces.

"This is what is giving us the courage to fight because we know the whole world is watching, and I can tell you we will give him a very good fight," she said, "we will give him hell."

She spends her days trying to help her neighbors flee. She hides out in her house with her cat Michelle when the shelling isn't too heavy, then moves to the subway when it gets too dangerous.

She says Putin didn't count on every day Ukrainians, both men and women, fighting back.

"That's why we are still standing strong,' she said. "Day 13 and we're still standing."

Rudik is hoping more help arrives. But until then, she will do all she can to keep the Russians from taking Kyiv.

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