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Canadian Ukrainian Shares their Worries

On February 24th, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine and since has been bombing the country causing hundreds of thousands to flee to the border. Countries all over the world were shocked by the violent news and showed their disdain at the war. Millions of Canadians are horrified by the conflict, for many of them are from Ukraine or have family residing there. Acton UP reached out to locals whose families live in Ukraine for comment. Many were too devastated and overwhelmed to speak, however, Isabella a 16-year-old from Mississauga was willing to share her and her family's experience with the war.

Isabella comments, “My entire family is Ukrainian, my parents immigrated to Canada when they were teenagers back in the 90s. Though some of us moved to Canada, the majority of my family is back in Ukraine in the main city, Kyiv.” Kyiv is currently being attacked and bombed by the Russian army and many including Isabella’s family are fleeing.

“We have been so scared for my family’s life, the war in Ukraine is putting my family through hell, both my family and my family in Ukraine are going to bed in fear every single night worried they won’t be here the next morning. My mom’s aunt and uncle live in Kyiv and just barely escaped before the army stopped civilians from leaving the city.”

Isabella shares some concerning information with us, if you are easily disturbed we encourage readers to skip the following paragraph.

“My mom’s aunt and uncle were sobbing on the phone as they drove away. We could hear bombs being dropped behind them on the other line. It was completely terrifying. They managed to escape to a safer city where they are staying with extended family on a farm. My dad’s cousin went out to fight in the army, while his wife and their small kids hide with my great-grandpa who is 92. They are all taking shelter in a basement as bombs go off around them. It is so hard for them to be staying in a basement, cold and hungry for days on end, but they have no choice in order to survive.”

The reality of the current situation Ukraine is experiencing is horrifying. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot Canada and its citizens can do currently besides hope and pray for peace. Donation sites are available online for those who would like to help in any way, the link can be found here. Isabella and her family are desperately trying to stay in contact with her family although it is unknown for most days whether or not they are safe. Isabella continues,

“In the end, my entire family both in Canada and Ukraine are scared, and we just want peace. We hope that things will go back to normal, to a time when the schools, hospitals and daycares weren’t being bombed and when everyone wasn’t scared.”

There are hundreds of thousands of stories similar to Isabella and her family; there are a lot of unknowns happening right now in Ukraine and many Ukrainian Canadians are feeling lost and dumbfounded. For anyone who is struggling or having a difficult time dealing with the current war in Ukraine, there are sources available to help you, here.


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