Ukrainian Canadian hearts cry in Quesnel – Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal

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Nataliya Williams paused silently when asked her home country thousands of miles from Quesnel where the sound of shelling and explosions can be heard.

“My thoughts are with my family and my nation,” the Ukrainian-Canadian finally said.

“It is no longer a crisis, it is a war. Unfortunately, the Russian people have been poisoned by propaganda for so many years.

Williams has slept poorly and eaten little over the past week as she searches for the latest news on the Russian-Ukrainian war and waits for the opportune moment to connect with her family.

Her daughter, granddaughter and older sister arrived in Poland on Monday, February 28, after a 72-hour journey on a crowded train overflown by Russian planes. Williams said she witnessed many “terrible” things.

It wasn’t the first time they had to run away in a hurry.

Several years ago, Williams said he fled his hometown near Donetsk, a southeastern city in which Russian-backed separatists declared independence from Kiev.

It is in one of two rebel-held territories known as the ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Lugansk People’s Republic’ located in the Donbass region where Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces clashed since 2014.

After their first escape, Williams said she lived with other relatives in western Ukraine for a short time.

“They came back to the Donetsk region, and they started to work and build their new life on the Ukrainian side as a reaction to the proximity of the occupied territory because they hoped that one day everything would be better,” he said. she stated.

“Unfortunately, on February 24, while all of Ukraine was sleeping, Russia attacked.”

Williams compares Russian Vladimir Putin, whom she calls “Putler,” to German dictator Adolf Hitler.

In recent phone calls or messages shared on the internet, she said she needed to tell her daughter to rethink leaving her granddaughter with her sister in Poland to return to Ukraine, where her husband is engaged. to join the Ukrainian forces.

“To my beautiful granddaughter, it’s awful,” Williams said.

“This is the second time his life has been completely wiped out again.”

As Ukrainians fight for freedom, Williams believes Russians are not ready to do the same, as only a few thousand out of a population of more than 140 million have been arrested on Russian streets for anti-war protests.

“My heart is crying,” she said.

“I have no more tears to cry. It is understandable to everyone how difficult it is to see our beautiful country destroyed, it is understandable how painful each person is to know that the victims of this war, not just the Ukrainian soldiers who knew they would give their lives, but the little children.

Williams has lived in Quesnel since September 2009. She hopes others could help sell her handmade jewelry, which she said she would donate proceeds to charity.

As his home country continues to repel Russian onslaught, Williams said Ukrainians are fighting not just for their own freedom, but for the freedom of all of Europe in a war that can only be described as genocide. .

“If you think ‘Putler’ will walk all over Ukraine and talk, no and never,” she said.

“I hope this shows Canadians what freedom does in real life and how we have to fight for it because sometimes in Canada people have that freedom, and they don’t appreciate it enough.”

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