Mila Kunis Is Reminding Her Kids of Their Ukrainian Roots: 'Important to Know Where You Came From'

Mila Kunis, who is from Ukraine, said she and Ashton Kutcher are talking about culture and heritage with their two children amid Russia's invasion of her home country 

Mila Kunis is having important conversations with her kids about heritage.

Kunis, 38, appeared on Who's Talking to Chris Wallace? Thursday with her husband Ashton Kutcher, where she told host Chris Wallace about how she's discussing the war in Ukraine with her two young children.

Kunis, who shares daughter Wyatt Isabelle, 7, and son Dimitri Portwood, 5, with Kutcher, 44, told Wallace she had always shared her heritage with her kids, but the topic took on a new weight when Russia invaded Ukraine in February.

The Bad Moms actress was born in Ukraine; her family left the country in 1991, when she was 7.

"I don't speak Ukrainian. When I was raised in Ukraine it was still under the USSR umbrella, so I spoke Russian, which is what we all spoke," Kunis told Wallace. "So my kids understand Russian. I speak Russian with my parents… I was like, 'It's good to know another language.' That's all I kind of kept thinking, was it's good to know another language. But I never thought culturally speaking was important for where they came from."

Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis | Who's Talking to Chris Wallace? | Clip | CNN+

She continued, "It never crossed my mind until this happened," referring to the invasion of Ukraine. "It seemed like overnight we both turned to our kids and were like, 'You are half Ukrainian, half American.' It instantly became a thing, and they're like, 'Yeah, I get it Mom.' "

Kunis added, "But it is ultimately incredibly important to know where you came from. 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 not the importance of community and growth. And so, we very quickly reminded our kids that they are half Ukrainian."

In early March, the couple launched a fundraiser for Ukrainian refugees via GoFundMe, which has since raised over $35 million.

"We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support," Kunis said of passing the $30 million mark in an Instagram video March 17. "And while this is far from a solve of the problem, our collective effort will provide a softer landing for so many people as they forge ahead into their future of uncertainty."

Kutcher added, "Our work is not done. We're going to do everything we can to ensure the outpouring of love that came from you all as a part of this campaign finds a maximum impact for those in need."

In announcing their fundraiser on Instagram, the stars said that money raised would go toward " and, two organizations who are actively on the ground providing immediate help to those who need it most." Kunis and Kutcher donated $3 million to the cause.

Ashton Kutcher (L) and Mila Kunis attend the 2018 Breakthrough Prize at NASA Ames Research Center on December 3, 2017 in Mountain View, California.
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis. C Flanigan/FilmMagic

Russia's attack on Ukraine continues after their forces launched a large-scale invasion on Feb. 24 — the first major land conflict in Europe in decades.

Details of the fighting change by the day, but hundreds of civilians have already been reported dead or wounded, including children. Millions of Ukrainians have also fled, the United Nations says.

"You don't know where to go, where to run, who you have to call. This is just panic," Liliya Marynchak, a 45-year-old teacher in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine, told PEOPLE of the moment her city was bombed — one of numerous accounts of bombardment by the Russians.

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The invasion, ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin, has drawn condemnation around the world and increasingly severe economic sanctions against Russia.

With NATO forces massing in the region around Ukraine, various countries have also pledged aid or military support to the resistance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for peace talks — so far unsuccessful — while urging his country to fight back.

Putin insists Ukraine has historic ties to Russia and he is acting in the best security interests of his country. Zelenskyy vowed not to bend.

"Nobody is going to break us, we're strong, we're Ukrainians," he told the European Union in a speech in the early days of the fighting, adding, "Life will win over death. And light will win over darkness."

The Russian attack on Ukraine is an evolving story, with information changing quickly. Follow PEOPLE's complete coverage of the war here, including stories from citizens on the ground and ways to help.

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