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'Senseless and tragic war': Regina Ukrainians gather to mark somber anniversary

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Regina’s Ukrainian community paused for a moment of silence on Saturday as they gathered near the legislative building to mark the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

One family’s 10-year-old son collected donations for the war effort and has received a flag as a thank you, signed by soldiers on the front line.

“This group is actually the one that goes in front of everyone else to kill the enemy to defend our country which is very significant. Some people who signed might not even be alive anymore so it’s a very senseless and tragic war,” said Andre Andrusyak.

An estimated 6,300 Ukrainians have moved to Saskatchewan since the invasion began in 2022. Some who arrived on humanitarian flights attended the ceremony.

“Hopefully next year we’ll not celebrate this sad event and we’ll win,” said Mykola Perun.

Canada’s Prime Minister marked the anniversary with a surprise visit to Ukraine where he pledged $3 billion in additional financial and military support. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress welcomed the pledge.

“That just brought the mood up from our gathering today. That was incredibly wonderful news that Canada is continuing to stand with Ukraine and to be there until the end with victory and that type of commitment is indeed important and critical,” said Holly Paluck, with the Regina branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

Saskatchewan Senator Denise Batters is of Ukrainian decent. She feels it important that the federal government moves quickly on its commitments to Ukraine.

“Promises are good but fulfillment of promises is better and we saw news lately that said 60 per cent of the weapons and military support that Canada’s government has promised right now haven’t been actually fulfilled yet and that is what they need,” she said. “They need it right now.”

Ukrainians in Saskatchewan are urging that aide not slow down. Many support shrinking the timeline of Canada’s pledges.

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