A longtime Quesnel resident wants to bring awareness of what is happening in an Eastern European country thousands of kilometres away where fighting rages.
Katrin MacLean is inviting others to show their support for Ukraine and join her Saturday, May 28, in a walk starting from Ceal Tingley Park at 1 p.m. to the Royal Canadian Legion.
“The reason why I’m doing a walk instead of just standing and holding up signs is a walk symbolizes the refugees who had to walk across borders to flee their own country,” MacLean said.
“We’re stopping in front of the Legion because the Legion represents the soldiers that fought for our freedom and that’s what Ukrainians are doing as well.”
MacLean believes Russia’s assault on Ukraine is history repeating itself from the Stalin era when Ukraine suffered harshly from widespread starvation by a man-made famine, known as the Holomodor, that claimed the lives of millions.
She herself is the daughter of Estonian refugees who fled from communism.
Her grandfather was sent to the Gulags where he perished, and his son was executed for espionage.
“I feel for the Ukrainians because it’s history repeating itself where they just walk in, and the propaganda that they use.”
Online where Russian pro-war lies and propaganda have proliferated, MacLean has spoken out for years to the point she said her computer was hacked.
On Canadian soil, MacLean wishes anyone who speaks of their freedoms being lost to visit Ukraine.
“As far as I’m concerned Vladimir Putin is a psychopath and a serial killer,” she said.
“He doesn’t pull the gun, but he gets his henchmen to do it, and journalists, political opponents, or anybody who opposes him, he assassinates, and then he blames the Chechnyans.”
MacLean said she knows of two local people from Ukraine, including Nataliya Williams, who is currently in Poland where her family fled.
Statistics Canada noted in the 2016 Census that close to four per cent of the Canadian population reported at least one of their ethnic origins as Ukrainian.
“It’s just to bring awareness of what is truly happening in Ukraine and let people know it hits home for some,” MacLean said of Saturday’s I Stand With Ukraine Walk in Quesnel.
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