Russian history professors and their children breathe easier after relocation to Hyde Park

Story by Andrea Holliday, contributing writer, Hyde Park Herald, Dec 22, 2022 

Alexandra, Elena and Sergei Shokarev are among the newest students at Kozminski Community Academy, 936 E. 54th St. The siblings – aged 5, 7 and 14 – are, with their parents, the first Russian refugees to arrive in Hyde Park due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

The oldest of the three, Sergei speaks the best English and is so far the happiest at school. So say his parents, who welcomed the Herald last week to the bright and cozy apartment prepared for them by local volunteers.

The namesake of his father, historian Sergei Shokarev, teenaged Sergei wants to become an engineer and build helicopters. But he’s a chip off the old block when it comes to talking about history and politics, and he’s delighted to be able to discuss things at school that weren’t allowed back in Russia. Rather than shushing him, his teacher has encouraged this speech. Young Sergei says that, as soon as he gets comfortable enough with English, he will give a presentation to his classmates about the history and current events in his native country.

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