Yukon Weekly

Russian invasion has raised worries among Ukrainian Canadians for their loved ones

Ukrainian Canadians express concern for their loved ones as a result of Russia's invasion.

Key takeaways:

  • On Thursday, Sam Martens, a Ukrainian national who has lived in Canada for two years, participated in a rally in Vancouver in support of Ukraine’s peace.
  • By the outbreak of WWI, more than 150,000 displaced Ukrainians had immigrated to Canada, drawn by the promise of inexpensive land in the Prairies.

Following Russia’s invasion of their nation, Ukrainian Canadians fear their loved ones.

Sam Martens, a Ukrainian national who has resided in Canada for two years, attended a demonstration in Vancouver on Thursday in favor of Ukraine’s peace. Martens’ relatives are still in Ukraine; he said CTV News Vancouver.

“I messaged them this morning, and they’re reporting bombs, and they’re trying to get away from the risk,” Martens said. “I came here (to the event) to show the world that I care,” she said.

Ruslan Zeleniuk, a Ukrainian export and import business in Winnipeg, said his mother, who resides in western Ukraine, awoke to find her nation under siege.

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“They heard several explosions overnight,” Zeleniuk added. “They’re in a state of shock and bewilderment.”

With almost 1.3 million Canadian members of the Ukrainian diaspora, Canada has the world’s third-largest Ukrainian population, behind Russia and Ukraine itself.

More than 150,000 displaced Ukrainians had emigrated to Canada by the start of WWI, attracted by the promise of cheap land in the Prairies.

Yulia Zmerzla, executive director of the Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre in Winnipeg, told CTV National News, “They were searching for a better life.” “Unfortunately, it’s been more than a century since those events, and history is repeating itself.”

Ukrainian Canadians express concern for their loved ones as a result of Russia's invasion.
Ukrainian Canadians express concern for their loved ones as a result of Russia’s invasion. Image from CBC News

Despite the risk, Zmerzla stated that her family in Ukraine wishes to remain and protect their homeland.

Zmerzla stated, “I do want my family to come here.” “I want to keep them safe.”

Immigration, Refugees as well as Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has taken steps to make it easier for Ukrainian Canadians to bring their immediate families to Canada, including priority adoption applications and permanent and temporary residence applications for people who have a primary residence in Ukraine and want to reunite with family, study, work, or start a new life in Canada.

While some Ukrainian Canadians are concerned for their loved ones who remain in Ukraine due to the rising violence, others are concerned about the destiny of their ancestors’ homeland, which they consider to be an important part of their identity.

Source: CTV News

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