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Ukrainian-Manitobans watching anxiously as Russian Military presence grows on Ukraine’s border

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian-Manitobans watching anxiously as Russian Military presence grows on Ukraine’s border' Ukrainian-Manitobans watching anxiously as Russian Military presence grows on Ukraine’s border
There are more than 180,000 Ukrainian Manitobans and all are watching anxiously as the Russian Military amasses on the Russia-Ukraine border – Jan 23, 2022

While tensions between Russia and Ukraine remain high, Ukrainian-Manitobans are watching the situation closely.

There are more than 180,000 Ukrainian Manitobans, according to the latest data from Statistics Canada.

Winnipeg natives Nick Krawetz and his wife have ties to Ukraine. Krawetz’s great-grandparents immigrated to Canada nearly a century ago, while his wife moved to Manitoba just ten years ago.

“I’m an active member of Manitoba’s Ukrainian community and the whole community is worried. Let’s be frank,” Krawetz told Global News.

Read more: Canada deploys special forces to Ukraine amid rising tensions with Russia

“My wife’s family has said that they’ll remain in Kyiv, but they do have a backup plan if things get as serious as what the predications are saying,” said Krawetz.

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“Ukraine’s second largest city is Kharkiv ,which has 1.5 million people and is located 35 kilometers from the Russian border. That’s the same distance between Winnipeg and Selkirk. So you can imagine 127,000 troops in Selkirk pointing their tanks and artillery at Winnipeg.”

“Ukraine needs to be in a position to defend itself and right now it’s not,” he says. “That’s really what the community here in Manitoba is saying you know. Ukrainians are not saying come fight for us. We will fight ourselves but we need the tools necessary to fight.”

He’s urging Manitobans to to call their MPs to tell them to support Ukraine.

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

“It affects everybody who cares about international peace and security and who cares about democracy, sovereignty and international law.”

Ostap Skrypnyk in Winnipeg is with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Manitoba Provincial Council.

“There’s an awful lot of anxiety,” Skrypnyk said. “Putin is doing this, it’s designed to be intimidating, and it’s working right? I mean it really is scaring a lot of people.”

“International borders and smaller countries have as much right to exist freely as anyone else,” he said. “People have family there, they have friends are military age…they’re all being prepared for war.”

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Both Skrypnyk and Krawetz agree they’d like to see Canada provide Ukraine with the necessary tools if the situation does come down to war, and before it’s too late.

Click to play video: '‘Nobody knows what’s going to happen’: Ukrainian-Canadians anxious as Russian threat looms' ‘Nobody knows what’s going to happen’: Ukrainian-Canadians anxious as Russian threat looms
‘Nobody knows what’s going to happen’: Ukrainian-Canadians anxious as Russian threat looms – Jan 25, 2022

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