How Mila Kunis fled war-torn Ukriane as a child before she became Hollywood star

A-lister Mila Kunis, born Milena Markovna Kunis, is now best-known for being a huge Hollywood star but her start in life was worlds away from the glitz and glamour of the movies.

Mila was born in Ukraine in 1983 and then was forced to leave her home country seven years later, as her family fled just before the fall of the Soviet Union in 19991.

The actress – who’s starred in films Black Swan and Ted as well as TV’s Family Guy – has previously stated anti-semitism as the reason why she left for America, saying her "whole family was in the Holocaust".

"One of my friends who grew up in Russia, she was in second grade," she explained. "She came home one day crying. Her mother asked why and she said on the back of her seat there was a swastika."

Mila – who is now happily married to Ashton Kutcher, who she has two children with – made the comments in the The Telegraph , when asked about going to school in Ukraine.

"When I was in school you would still see antisemitic signs," she said. "This is a country that obviously does not want you."

In Glamour magazine in 2016, Mila spoke of the battles her parents – mechanical engineer dad Mark and physics teacher mum Elvira – endured when they came to America in a bid to give her and brother Michael, then 13, a better life.

The family arrived with just suitcases and $250.

Mila explained: "My dad worked—f**k if I know—seven jobs? He painted a house. He would deliver toilets. He drove a cab, delivered pizzas."

"They would go to night school to learn English. My mom started working at Thrifty in Culver City as a box lady. That’s what she did until she learned English; then she became a cashier.

"Whatever he could do, he did. Ultimately, my dad owned cabs, and my mom worked her way up to manager of a Rite-Aid; they bought a car and a condo. But growing up poor, I never missed out on anything. My parents did a beautiful job of not making me feel like I was lesser than any other kids."

While she adjusted "fairly quickly and fairly well," Mila has admitted that she struggled to find ways to fit in during second grade.

"I cried every day," she revealed. "I didn't understand the people. I didn't understand the language."

She has stated on several occasions that she has "always considered herself American", but after the recent Russian invasion on Ukraine, Mila insisted she couldn't be "more proud to be a Ukrainian".

Mila's husband Ashton, 44, has pledged to match up to $3 million in donations to help provide immediate humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.

In a video posted onInstagram last week, Mila says: "I was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983. I came to America in 1991. I have always considered myself American, a proud American, I love everything that this country has done for myself and my family.

"But today, I have never been more proud to be a Ukrainian."

Ashton, 44, added: "And I've never been more proud to be married to a Ukrainian."

Mila – mum to daughter Wyatt and son Dimitri – explained: "The events that have unfolded in Ukraine are devastating. There is no place in this world for this kind of unjust attack on humanity.

And Ashton stood by his wife insisting: "We're raising funds to support a relief effort that will have immediate impact and supply much-needed refugee and humanitarian aid in the area.

"The principal challenge right now is logistics. We need to get housing, and we need to get supplies and resources into the area."

The couple then vowed to match $3 million in donations through a relief effort via GoFundMe. It will benefit Flexport.org and Airbnb.org, two organizations that are actively on the ground providing immediate assistance to Ukrainians.

The Bad Moms actress concluded: "The events that have unfolded in Ukraine are devastating. There is no place in this world for this kind of unjust attack on humanity."

Since Russian President Vladimir's Putin's invasion began on Feb 24, 1.7 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee the country.

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