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World Stand With Ukraine

On this page I will document ways how to #StandWithUkriane using Kamloops stories:

I started Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WorldStandWithUkraine and share information about how global communities #StandWithUkraine. News, stories, ways to support People of Ukraine from outside of Ukraine

I will also share how I #StandwithUkraine and what you can do to #StandwithUkraine.

World Stand With Ukraine: Stories from Kamloops, BC.

On February 24, the Russian Government Genocide of the People of Ukraine entered a new stage: the physical elimination of Ukrainians from their homeland on all territories of Ukraine. In one month, more than 25% of the total population of Ukraine (+10 Million People) has been displaced, and thousands have died. The global community has seen the thread that Russia created in the democratic world. When Putin’s system (bully) is not stopped, their Aggression can escalate globally. No one will be saved from the nuclear catastrophe unless the world stands in unity and fights the Russian Government Aggression.

The people of Ukraine have been fighting Russian Government Aggression for more than 300 years. Millions of Ukrainians worldwide have formed strong Ukrainian Diaspora communities that, together with local people globally, support the People of Ukraine. At this time, it is critically important to help Ukraine’s land defenders who fight for global peace and find ways to stop the Russian Government Genocide. Furthermore, it is essential to document every crime against humanity that is happening now in Ukraine to prevent future wars and destroy Putin’s regime and ideas from spreading. It is also essential to note the efforts of global communities to stop the war and recognize its worldwide impact on how to support displaced populations.

Kamloops, BC is located on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory, situated within the unceded ancestral lands of the Secwépemc Nation. In the 2016 Census, 8.6% of Kamloopsians claimed their Ukrainian heritage (7760 residents).

Since February 24, thousands of Kamloopsians #StandWithUkraine and helped in multiple ways to stop the Russian Aggression. Here are some of the ways Kamloops is contributing to the #WorldStandWithUkraine movement.

Rallies and Peaceful Gatherings are happening weekly in Kamloops. TRU students, under the leadership of Andrii Lobanov organized a rally at the Law Courts on Columbia Street on Saturday, February 26, at noon. TRU students and rally participants shared their experiences to Michael Potestio on what it means for them to #StandWithUkraine. Dylana Kneeshaw, on March 1, reported on how Ukrainians studying at TRU raising awareness and funds to send protective equipment to Ukraine. TRU Students also organized a rally at the TRU with the support of TRU World leader Baihua Chadwick. CFJC Dylana Kneeshaw and Kent Simmonds reported hundreds of people attending a rally at TRU on March 3. Andrii Lobanov in Riverside Park organized the most recent rally on March 20. Kristen Holliday reported that more than 100 people gathered with flags in hand to #StandWithUkraine.

In addition to TRU students, TRU Faculty, Ukrainian Diaspora, faith and other communities in Kamloops were organizing gatherings to #StandwithUkraine. Simya Ukrainian Dance Group organize weekly gatherings in Kamloops on Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. The first gathering was at the Hope sign in Riverside Park. More than 300 people attended and created a human chain throughout Kamloops downtown to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Shannon Ainslie reported that Simya brings colour, hope to rallies in support homeland. Michele Huston one of the Simya rally organizers and a second-generation Ukrainian-Canadian, thanks to her Baba “for being a strong person, teaching us our culture and telling us the stories to keep it alive. She helped to maintain the culture we deserve, a lot was lost during (the First World War). Today we continue to fight for an identity, we are fighting to be who we are”.  

With support from Human Rights Committee co-chairs Manu Sharma and Sasha Kondrashov, Thompson Rivers University Faculty Association organized a gathering at TRU. Faculty and staff from TRU shared their stories and connections to Ukraine and the importance of standing in solidarity with Ukraine. Thank you to the TRU Chaplain, Pastor Jane Gingrich, for a non-denominational prayer. Thank you to all the speakers for taking the time to stand with Ukraine: TRU student Monique Brunelle from Simya Ukrainian Society in Kamloops; Melanie Reed and Dean Michael Henry, Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics; Baihua Chadwick, TRU World; Brian Daly, VP, University Relations; Sara Wolfe, Associate Dean Faculty of Student Development; Dean Baldev Pooni, Trades and Technology; Tara Lister, TRUFA President; Lois Rugg, CUPE President;  Dean Rani H. Srivastava, School of Nursing; Frank Caputo Member of Parliament; Mary Hemmings, Librarian, Faculty of Law; Nancy Bepple, Refugee and Friends Together; Dean Yasmin Dean, Faculty of Education and Social Work; Ihor Stasyuk, Faculty of Science; Harpreet Vaidvan, EDSW Student. Thank you to all who come and speak at every rally, as your voices of solidarity are needed every day to protect human rights in Ukraine and globally. Shannon Ainslie reported on the rally.

Stephanie Swensdure reported on weekly rallies and interviewed Oleksandr (Sahsa) Kondrashov, who teaches social work and offers community learning classes on Ukrainian Diaspora Studies: “We want to make sure that we stand with Ukraine every week. And the idea is to make sure that there is visibility in Kamloops, a place where people can come during the week and show solidarity with the people of Ukraine,” said Kondrashov in one of the interviews. In addition to attending and speaking at every rally to educate the public about the war in Ukraine,  Sasha hosts weekly healing circles that unite people who stand with Ukraine globally. Everyone can register on Zoom or attend a weekly rally at City Hall in Kamloops to sign up and receive weekly e-mail updates on how #WorldStandWithUkraine and a special digest with Kamloops-specific events. TRU students also created a Facebook group and Instagram page: Kamloops Stands with Ukraine, to inform the community about local events. If anyone is interested in sharing any resources with People who might come from Ukraine to Kamloops, please add your name to Google Form. Sasha Kondrashov will share the collected data with Kamloops Immigrant Services to match the needs. Kent Simmonds created a Facebook album to document #StandwithUkraine rallies in Kamloops. Special thank you to all the people of Kamloops who sew Ukrainian flags for everyone who attends Saturday rallies. Thank you to Barb, Michelle, and Helen, who organized their sewing teams to ensure that all the 80 meters of material are shared among members of the Ukraine community to #StandWithUkraine.

“Armchair Mayor,” Mel Rothenburger wrote a few op-eds on the war in Ukraine:

February 28 Do anti-war rallies supporting Ukraine make any difference?

March 2: Kamloops needs to open its wallets for Ukraine refugees

March 21: Putin’s ban on Kamloops MP is truly a ‘badge of honour’

Shelly Joyce posted a few interviews on CBC Kamloops Daybreak website:

March 1: Kamloops Ukrainian group concerned over letter sent by TRU leadership

March 2: TRU on Russian invasion of Ukraine

March 8: Kamloops woman tries unusual method to help people in Ukraine

Faith Communities in Kamloops #StandWithUkraine. Hills of Peace Lutheran Community offers a weekly prayer for Ukraine on Zoom every Friday. Kamloops United Church recorded A Prayer for Ukraine service https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuqDahBDxi8 and invited Sasha Kondrashov to share the update on the war in Ukraine. Kamloops Alliance Church is planning to host a few refugees families from Ukraine. Canadians can also donate to EWay Missions in Ukraine through Rebecca Sanden by e-transfer or through CTEN (Canada) under Sanden/Ukraine (for a tax receipt) or to Dan Sczebel Sr, who is also currently located in Ukraine. Chad Klassen reported that Ukrainian Orthodox Church holds a special service to pray for friends, family back home. Michael Potestio reported that Holy Trinity Ukrainian Church in North Kamloops is working on supporting people who might be coming from Ukraine soon.

Here is more information that was shared with the Kamloops community on the war in Ukraine

Kamloops MP Frank Caputo was put on Russian blacklist

Polish Community in Kamloops organized a pierogi fundraiser to support people from Ukraine.

Williams Lake First Nation matriarch Nancy Sandy offers her prayers to Ukraine. Secwepemc Matriarch Muriel Sasakamoose and Gwendyline Campbell McArthur of Ojibwe/Saulteaux Metis and Ukrainian Ancestry offered territorial acknowledgement on Saturday rallies. 

Shannon Ainslie reported that two women from Kyiv, Ukraine set up accounts with all three General Grants bottle depots in Kamloops so everyone can donate to #StandwithUkraine account and the collected money can be sent to UCC Humanitarian Appeal fund.

The faculty of Education and Social Work at TRU approved a statement of solidarity with Ukraine.

Tim Petruk reported that Refugee group plans fundraiser ahead of a potential influx of people fleeing violence in Ukraine

Kamloops this Week and radio NL staff members shared resources on how Kamloopsians can help Ukraine.

Chad Klassen interviewed multiple groupa on their readiness to support newcomers from Ukraine.

Thanks to the Google Translate extension, Dr. Kondrashov’s edited Welcome to Kamloops e-book (accessible edition) can be accessed in Ukrainian. The English version of the guide is posted on the Kamloops Immigrant Services website.

Carli Berry reported on Kamloops artist who created a beautiful sunflower stained-glass piece to support Ukraine.

Solidarity statement with the people of Ukraine from one of the concerned TRU faculty members and demand to educate TRU President and VP International on what it means to #StandwithUkraine!

I ask members of TRU communities to #StandwithUkraine and share the truth about the war in Ukraine. The truth is that Russian Federation President escalated the war in Ukraine on February 24th early in the morning, denying the existence of Ukraine as a country and Ukrainians as a Nation. Missiles and airstrikes simultaneously hit sleeping Ukrainian cities, 200k army with tanks attacked Ukraine from North, East and South. Putin threatened the world not to interfere and keep threatening neighbouring countries that now resettle millions of refugees from Ukraine with possible nuclear weapon attacks. The shortest and most significant truth is: Putin declared war on the whole of humanity. Although many nations’ leaders were trying to stop him from invasion, he did not listen.

I support the Center for international environmental law statement describing Russia’s aggressive use of force in the territory of another State as “a grave violation of the United Nations Charter, international law, Ukraine’s national sovereignty, and the Ukrainian Peoples’ right self-government”. Moreover, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and missile attacks against cities across the country are “an assault on civilian populations in violation of global human rights norms and international humanitarian law. Russia’s actions pose an immediate threat to human lives, human rights, human freedom, human dignity, democratic governance, and regional and global peace”.

I condemn the invasion of Ukraine in the direction of Vladimir Putin in the strongest possible terms. The war puts millions of People all over Ukraine in grave danger. It is an act of neo-imperialism, oppression, authoritarianism and an insult to all who value self-determination, social justice, and democracy. Therefore, I condemn the violence and aggression that put thousands of my colleagues and friends all over Ukraine in grave danger.

I support statements of solidarity issued by multiple human rights international bodies and stand in solidarity with Russian citizens globally who continue to report the truth in unprecedented conditions and #StandwithUkraine

I was disheartened after reading TRU statement on “Supporting those Affected by Ukraine Conflict“. If anyone might have time, please send your e-mail and educate TRU President Brett Fairbairn (president@tru.ca), President and Vice-Chancellor and Baihua Chadwick ( bchadwic@tru.ca ), Vice-President International, and ask if they #StandwithUkraine and why their statement has not condemned the Russian invasion in Ukraine and recognize the suffering of People in Ukraine that affects many members of TRU community. I will keep educating at TRU, but now I need your help. Please also share your reactions after reading TRU statement and the impacts of words that can hurt everyone who #StandwithUkraine. You can cc me in all e-mails: okondrashov@tru.ca to TRU. Thank you.

I demand the TRU President and VP International issue a letter of apology to everyone who #StandwithUkriane and received the original announcement “Supporting those affected by Ukraine Conflict.” The announcement takes a weak and utterly inadequate stance related to the acts of war and aggression perpetrated by Russia against the people and sovereignty of Ukraine. It created harm among the people the statement aims to address. Furthermore, it does not address the realities of TRU community members with Russian origins, with more explicit recognition of their challenging position. Thank you so much to all TRU faculty members who already wrote a response and provided very detailed analyses of harms done by TRU President to anyone who #StandWithUkraine. My full solidarity is with Ukraine’s people and those suffering innocently from this unacceptable war.

I will do whatever is possible to help and actively support humanitarian efforts and explore options on how affected TRU members and communities I belong to can be supported at this time through listening to diverse populations who #StandwithUkraine.

Human rights abuses by Putin’s regime in Ukraine might be stopped through the global community’s collaborative efforts. Please make the whole world know the truth until it is too late. This is not a game, “international incident”, or “sparked confrontation” between “neighbours”. Yet I stay hopeful that the People of Ukraine and global humanity will win! Ukraine will win. The brave Ukrainian army will win. The free world will win. But not without your help. I pray and think about everyone who #StandwithUkraine

In addition to thoughts and prayers, please consider the following actions to #StandwithUkraine:

Please remain informed about the war and be cautious about the information spread on social media. Disinformation is one of Russia’s favourite weapons of war, and accidentally amplifying it can harm civilians. Learn how to counter Putin’s information strategy: https://theconversation.com/what-can-the-west-do-to-help-ukraine-it-can-start-by-countering-putins-information-strategy-177912

Another step for those who have financial resources is to donate money. Most large international aid organizations, including UNICEF, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red CrossDoctors Without Borders, and the International Rescue Committee, are currently working in Ukraine and neighboring countries, where a growing number of displaced people are fleeing. You can also donate to Canada-Ukraine Foundation Humanitarian Appeal.

People of Ukraine can enter without a visa EU Schengen zone, and many recently become refugees. Ireland opened their borders https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/visas-for-ukrainian-citizens-entering-ireland-to-be-waived-taoiseach-confirms-1.4811368 Maybe one-day Canadian government can do the same. At this time Trudeau government offered the following support: https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2022/02/24/canada-announces-additional-measures-support-ukraine

Support Ukrainian Journalism:

  • Check Ukraine World an independent English-language multimedia project that emerged from a volunteer initiative helping international journalists during the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity.” Support it by donating to its Patreon.  There is a beneficial video on How to Talk about Ukraine Now. Words matter. The video is about avoiding misleading vocabulary about Ukraine and Russian aggression.
  • Read The Kyiv Independent describes itself as “created by journalists who were fired from the Kyiv Post for defending editorial independence.” You can help keep the curtains up for the independent Ukrainian English-language media outlet by donating to its Patreon or GoFundMe fundraiser. 

Call your loved one in Ukraine from Canada for free:

Send a letter to your government officials:

  • In Canada, you can use the following template. Let them know that you are gravely concerned with the political, civic, and humanitarian situation in Ukraine due to this act of Russian aggression and think that Canada should:
    • Impose immediate economic sanctions against Russia to make it impossible for them to further finance their military aggression against Ukraine
    • Ban Russia from SWIFT
    • Close the Ukrainian airspace for the Russian aviation
    • Provide military equipment and weapons for Ukrainian army so they can defend themselves and their country during the Russian aggression
    • Support Ukraine’s economy
    • Anything else you think will help People of Ukraine to protect their sovereignty

I will keep adding ways and start a new research project on how #WorldStandWithUkraine. More information will be posted online: https://krasun.ca/world-stand-with-ukraine/

Stay safe everyone

Slava Ukrajini.

With respect and in solidarity

Sasha

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