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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Mike Zbihlyj retains involved with household within the village his father grew up in. The village is in a protected, western a part of Ukraine, removed from the border and much sufficient from the warfare.
They haven’t had any injury there, however the space is seeing energy outages and rolling blackouts in an effort to stabilize energy.
“I’ve a way of how they’re feeling in regards to the warfare, however they’re protected,” Zbihlyj mentioned in a Feb. 25 SaltWire Community interview.
Mike Zbihlyj, together with Sylvia Zbihlyj and Roxanne Laughlin, spoke to SaltWire after a march in Charlottetown marking the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Earlier than marching to the underside of Queen Road, near 100 protestors gathered at Charlottetown Metropolis Corridor for temporary speeches in regards to the warfare that started in 2014.
“I had hoped for extra, for extra individuals at the moment. I believe the climate’s a part of it. It’s minus 25,” Zbihlyj mentioned.
Then again, Zbihlyj famous he might hear from the voices of the individuals singing within the crowd that many had come to Canada from Ukraine not too long ago.
“That was good to see. It was heartening to see.”
Extra support wanted
The speeches at metropolis corridor talked about Canada’s help for Ukraine’s navy and civilians and referred to as for extra support.
“We should be sure that this 12 months’s anniversary — the primary anniversary — of Russia’s full-scale warfare is the one anniversary of this warfare,” mentioned Elina Lialiuk, one of many audio system earlier than the march.
After a second of silence and the nationwide anthem, police escorted the group to the waterfront.
The household SaltWire spoke with after the march are all Ukrainian, although most of their shut household has left the nation through the years, they mentioned.
Laughlin — whose maiden identify is Zbihlyj — mentioned she feels extra constructive about the place issues are going, although help has been slower than she want to see.
“Increasingly individuals are realizing that this warfare has been happening since 2014,” she mentioned.
“Ukraine, a 12 months later, nonetheless stands. Kyiv nonetheless stands. And the world to this point is standing with it.”
“They’re selecting up rifles and combating on the entrance strains and dying, and so they’re dying by the tons of day-after-day … However I do know that Ukraine will survive.”
— Mike Zbihlyj
Sylvia Zbihlyj is praying issues clear up so her household can return to Ukraine and go to their homeland, she mentioned.
“My dad and mom haven’t been ready to return to see their kinfolk, and a variety of them have died. They didn’t have that reference to them for the longest time.”
Past hurt to his household, Mike famous the toll warfare takes on the broader inhabitants, together with staff with specialised abilities, akin to academics, surgeons and professors.
“They’re selecting up rifles and combating on the entrance strains and dying, and so they’re dying by the tons of day-after-day,” he mentioned. “That’s what worries me, is how many individuals we’re going to lose. However I do know that Ukraine will survive.”
Logan MacLean is a reporter with SaltWire Community in Charlottetown.