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Canada: Ukrainian Canadians worry about Russia conflict: ‘I’m afraid for my family’

Trudeau warns of more Russia sanctions amid Moscow military buildup near Ukraine

  Trudeau warns of more Russia sanctions amid Moscow military buildup near Ukraine OTTAWA — Russia may face further Western sanctions as a consequence of its military buildup on the Ukrainian border, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday. And Trudeau appeared to confirm that Canada will renew its modest commitment of 200 Canadian Forces personnel to a military training mission in Ukraine, amid rising tensions between the West and Russia. The Ukrainian government has been waiting on Canada to publicly renew the commitment, set to expire at the end of March, as part of show of NATO solidarity toward Russia at a time of rising tensions.

As fears of a potential Russian military invasion in Ukraine grows, Anastasiya Khoma worries for her loved ones back home.

“I'm afraid for my family because there is nowhere they can go and there's nothing much they can do to protect themselves,” the 27-year-old Edmonton resident told Global News.

“They cannot escape to either Europe or come to Canada, so they're kind of trapped in a situation where they are.”

Many Ukrainians in Canada are growing uneasy with the ongoing crisis involving the two neighbouring nations, which has heated up this week as Russian troops amass near the border.

Read more:

Russia faces severe sanctions if it advances further into Ukraine: Joly

Ukrainian crisis: new diplomatic sequence in Brest

 Ukrainian crisis: new diplomatic sequence in Brest after Geneva and Brussels, the Ministers of the Defense of the European Union are gathered in Brest in France this Thursday and for two days. The objective of this meeting is to discuss the security of the continent and in particular the crisis in Ukraine. View on Euronews © Olivier Hoslet / Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved After Geneva and Brussels, the Ministers of the Defense of the European Union are gathered in Brest in France this Thursday and for two days.

“This new escalation with this new military build-up, it worries me because ... you don't know what to expect,” said 41-year-old Winnipeg resident Dmytro Malyk, whose parents live in Ukraine.

“They're very anxious (and) they're very worried about what might happen.”

For weeks, tension has been building between Ukraine and Russia, stoking fears of an armed conflict between the two countries.

Russia has positioned about 100,000 troops across Ukraine’s borders, along with tanks and other heavy artillery. Russia has denied it intends to launch an invasion in the former Soviet state.

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Massive cyberattack hits Ukraine government websites amid tensions with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the increased military presence is in response to provocations from the West.

Online Ukrainian New Year's celebrations will hopefully be a 'restart,' organizer says

  Online Ukrainian New Year's celebrations will hopefully be a 'restart,' organizer says Ukrainians in Manitoba will gather online on Saturday evening to celebrate Malanka, or Ukrainian New Year, with food, music and dancing. Marysa Fosty is helping to organize the virtual event, together with the Plath Ukrainian Youth Association, which she hopes will serve as a restart. "Just using it as an opportunity to come together and have a fresh start in the new year while still celebrating old traditions," she said in an interview with CBC Manitoba's Stephanie Cram on the Weekend Morning Show on Saturday. Last year because of the pandemic, organizers took the celebrations online.

On Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden said he expects Putin to invade Ukraine, but that Russia would pay a “dear price” in lives lost and a possible cut-off from the global banking system if it does.

Canada, the U.S. and other NATO allies have urged Russia to reach a diplomatic solution, but a number of Russia’s demands – including banning Ukraine from joining NATO – are seen as non-starters.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said Thursday Canada will join allies in imposing severe sanctions on Russian officials if the country takes further military action to compromise Ukrainian sovereignty.

Joly said Russia is already in Ukraine, referencing Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and its instigating of Russian separatist forces in Ukraine’s eastern region.

“The recently launched diplomatic process offers Russia two options: they can choose meaningful dialogue, or severe consequences,” Joly said.

"No options are excluded" to respond to a Russian attack in Ukraine, announces the White House

 © Sergey Pivovarov many Russian armed means are posted not far from Ukrainian borders (illustration). Reuters / Sergey Pivovarov The tension seems to rise again a notch in this war of declarations between Russia and the United States. "We are at a stage where Russia can launch an attack in Ukraine at any time," said the White House spokesperson on Tuesday, speaking of an "extremely dangerous situation".

Video: Russia faces severe sanctions if it advances further into Ukraine: Joly

Ukraine has requested military equipment like weapons from Canada, but Joly had nothing new to say about whether Ottawa would answer those requests. She added Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking at “a range of options” that are based on information she has been gathering during her European trip this week.

“One of the things that we have seen is that Russia is looking for excuses or reasons to continue and even escalate its aggression against Ukraine,” Trudeau said on Wednesday.

Read more:

Trudeau says Russia looking for ‘excuses’ to invade Ukraine

“We’re looking at many different factors when we make decisions on how to best support the people of Ukraine. The bottom line is we will be there to continue supporting the people of Ukraine through multiple levels and layers of support.”

Many Ukrainians in Canada want to help Ukraine, said Ihor Michalchyshyn, executive director and CEO of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.

One of the measures he would like to see the federal government take is fulfilling Ukraine’s request for weapons. The United States and the United Kingdom have sent weapons and other military equipment to the region recently.

In photos: Russian military buildup near Ukraine’s borders

  In photos: Russian military buildup near Ukraine’s borders Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Friday that Canada “stands with Ukrainian people” and will “always be there with the necessary supports,” after announcing a loan of up to $120 million (CAD) to the Ukrainian government amid ongoing tensions with neighbouring Russia.

Video: Edmonton’s vast Ukrainian community stands in solidarity with Ukraine as conflict with Russia escalates

Canada, meantime, has sent a small group of special force operators to Ukraine to advise the government in Kyiv and help plan an evacuation of Canadian diplomatic staff in the event of an invasion.

It has also committed roughly $700 million in support of the Ukrainian government since 2014, and for years has sent rotations of 200 Canadian Armed Forces members to help train Ukrainian security forces under Operation UNIFIER.

“This is the time when we need Canada to step up as a leading friend and ally of Ukraine, and we believe there is widespread support in Canada from all Canadians … for additional supports to Ukraine because people understand this is a security issue,” Michalchyshyn said.

“This is about Russia as an authoritarian country deciding which borders it respects and doesn't respect in Western Europe. Canada borders Russia (in the north and) it is not unforeseen that this would impact Canadian security.”

As for Khoma, she hopes Canada can help insist Ukraine becomes a part of NATO, while Malyk wants to see further sanctions levelled against Russia now.

Most of all, both hope war does not break out.

“By the time Western countries act, it's already too late with regards to Russia,” Malyk said.

“If there is a way to de-escalate this possible war with pre-emptive sanctions right now, that would be great.”

--- with files from Alex Boutilier and The Canadian Press

crisis around Ukraine: The turnaround of Alexander Lukashenko .
Belarus has long supported Ukraine, but now it is firmly allied with Russia. This increases the worries in Kiev and Washington. © Shamil Zhumatov / AFP Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Belarusian head of state Alexander Lukashenko at a joint press conference in the Kremlin in the fall 2021. The turnaround of Alexander Lukashenko The warnings to the east are hardly countable, but this time Washington did not mean Moscow this time . It's Minsk.

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