Hope and Resilience Mark the First Anniversary of War in Ukraine

It’s been one year since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began.

In that year more than 8 million Ukrainians have fled their country becoming refugees; according to U.N. data. More than 5.3 million others are thought to be displaced within Ukraine.

Here at home Elena Krueger – the president of the Ukrainian canadian Congress of Saskatchewan says over the last year she has seen remarkable strength from the people of Ukraine.

“The incredible resilience of the Ukrainian people to carry on and fight for what is right, defending there free and sovereign nation. Defending democracy for all of us,” says Krueger adding that she’s seen echoes of that same resilience and heart from the people of Saskatchewan.

While the conflict seeed to crescendo a few months in – it’s moved through waves. At points Russian offences seemed to be scaling back, and then ramped up again. The uncertainty of when the conflict will end, or to what lengths it will rise has left many feeling like they are on a roller coaster of emotions. Something Elena echoed.

“One minute you’re shocked. The next you’re angry. Then you’re crying, the next minute you hear stories where someone helped someone else with some act of generosity or kindness.”

Those acts of kindness here in Saskatchewan are another aspect of the last year that Krueger says she has been stunned by.

“Ingenuity that’s been shown by the people of this province as far as helping is amazing. People from around the province have welcomed people to their homes and activities. Letting them know that this is a good place to be and they can be safe here.”

From furniture for new homes, transportation to appointments, to events involving the youth giving them an opportunity to take their minds off their situation. Krueger says there have been so many ways that Saskatchewan Residents have stepped up.

Moving forward over the next year – Krueger would like to see an end to the suffering and destruction as soon as possible. In the mean time, help, support and generating awareness on the plight of the people of Ukraine is essential she says. “An whole nation of people are being destroyed. We can’t allow that to happen as a world community. Our continued support is paramount.”

Canada’s role in the conflict has not been forgotten by the people of Ukraine – a recent release of a commemorative bank note featured, British, American and Canadian flags. Canada’s allyship has been instrumental for Ukraine.

“In our unity there will be an opportunity to overcome and win this war. Through hope and support.”

She adds that those continued “good vibes” from the international community  shows that Ukraine is a country that matters, and matters to canadians.

“If we can continue the morale support, and prayers, that will carry on to those on the front lines, ” she says.

Tonight we have another opportunity to stand with Ukraine – 365 days of resistance a nationwide even meant to mark the anniversary of the war. At 6pm in front of Regina city hall a candle lit vigil will be held.

 

 

 

 

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