Chants of ‘No More War’ and ‘Stop Putin’ filled the brisk air in front of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building.
Over 100 supporters of all ages and connections to Ukraine gathered in front of the building to show their support, including Anastasiia Sheichuck, a student from Ukraine studying in Regina.
“All my family and my friends are in Ukraine right now, and they are suffering tremendously waiting,” she said. “Some of them are right now in the shelters in Kyiv; my parents, they are just sleeping there dressed, waiting for whether they’ll be bombed.”
Sheichuck had strong words for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“What did is just not an attack on Ukraine; this is an attack on the whole world,” she stated. “He disrespected everything, everyone, every international organization and agreement. The whole world should unite to fight back and show solidarity, and there is no tolerance for such actions in this world.”
“These are the most clinical and evil lies that Putin is saying; all of this is not true,” she explained when talking about the disinformation campaign that the Kremlin has been waging against Ukraine.
“We are a sovereign country, and we have a choice to decide what we do, and they are invading us, attacking us, just making the most horrible crimes. Putin is the new Hitler for us; that’s why he is a danger to the whole world. People like this don’t stop. He wants power, he wants to do whatever he wants, and he has to be stopped,” she continued.
According to close friends, Sheichuck said that the situation is terrible and hard on everyone, but it does not stop Ukrainians from fighting back.
“Everyone is so strong. We are doing whatever we can here in Canada, but I cannot believe the bravery of every Ukrainian there,” she said through tears. “Our heroes, our soldiers of Zmiinyi (The Snake Island). They were brutally shot from the Russian ships, and they are heroes of Ukraine because they didn’t give up.”
“I have a friend that is Ukrainian that is also here in Canada; he is in Calgary. He decided to go back. He will go there to fight. That’s how much we want to fight for our freedom,” she added. “Our choice to live the life we want. We are standing for the basic human rights, the democratic right for any country to choose what they want, and for people to live the life they want, and Putin is stealing all that from us.”
As someone of Ukrainian descent, Darcy Gulka said he felt it’s important to show that Ukraine is not alone.
“Give support to the people in Ukraine for what they are doing because they are barring the brunt of Russia.”
“They are scared, but they are very brave, and they don’t plan on giving up,” Gulka added when talking about family members living in Ukraine.
It wasn’t just those with direct ties to Ukraine who decided to show their support, as Vitaly Jaroshevsky is from Belarus.
“Unfortunately, dictator of Belarus provided our beautiful Belarusian land to Putin to use for aggression and war against the people of Ukraine,” he exclaimed.
“It is a real tragedy for all of us,” he said. “We are here today to support our brothers and sisters in Ukraine, to support our brothers and sisters here, to support all Ukrainian people and all Belarusian people around the world. We believe that freedom will win.”