Ukranian-Canadian in Regina closely watching situation back home

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces has created a loot of anxiety around the world – including here in Saskatchewan.

Olena Shyian, the president of the Ukrainian National Federation’s Regina chapter, said it was loud and scary where her family is.

“A lot of elderly people are living around my mom’s house,” said Shyian, whose mother, aunt and sister live near one of Ukraine’s largest airports. “They‘re not mobile, a lot of them, they don’t have vehicles, (neither does) my mom and it’s just scary.”

She said it is a little bit quieter at her family’s home near Chernobyl, less than a day after Russian troops came into Ukraine through Belarus.

“It’s a pretty dangerous location, which might have a serious effect for the whole world, not just Ukraine.

Shyian said sanctions aren’t working and the United States and Great Britain ought to realize a promise to Ukraine in 1992 to protect Ukrainian borders in exchange for nuclear power and weapons.

“I just hope they remember about that promise and they can bring NATO forces and they cam help Ukraine to stand in Ukrainian’s defence,” said Shyian. “There were way too many deaths happening in just one night. I’m just afraid what’s going to happen the next night.”

This week isn’t the first time the country of Ukraine has been the site of a major conflict.

“I just remember the stories my grandma was talking about World War II, but they didn’t have such powerful weapons at that time,” she said. “The Russian army is well set-up.”

Shyian said  they’re trying to get refugee status for Ukrainian families, which she realizes won’t help the current military situation.

“At least it will help families who don’t have anybody else to support them there,” she said.

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