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Sask. Ukrainians concerned for family members still in Ukraine

Click to play video: 'Sask. Ukrainians concerned for family members still in Ukraine' Sask. Ukrainians concerned for family members still in Ukraine
WATCH: Escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia are causing growing concern around the world, including Saskatoon’s Ukrainian community – Jan 23, 2022

With the ongoing tension on the Ukraine-Russia border, Ukrainians in Saskatchewan are concerned about family members who remain.

Saskatoon is home to a large Ukrainian community. Ukrainian community member and immigration consultant, Iryna Matsiuk, fears for her family and when she will see them again.

Read more: In photos: Russian military buildup near Ukraine’s borders

“I have a new daughter that I was going to go back to Ukraine this summer and hopefully meet the family. I don’t know if this is going to happen because of all these events,” said Matsiuk.

Canada and the United States have made efforts to help Ukraine, but the future remains uncertain. Matsiuk said the feeling is similar to eight years ago when Russian troops seized the Crimean Peninsula.

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Read more: Ukraine crisis: 11,000 pro-Russian troops in control of Crimea

“Nobody believed that it was possible. It was surreal like we were looking like this is something to write in history books about. You know, the war in our country,” said Matsiuk.

The Skirchuk family also has concerns for the loved ones they left behind.

“Everybody understands that something is going to happen. Putin is not the kind of person that would simply step back. He has something in his mind and soon we will see what it is,” said Iryna Skirchuk.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently pledged $120 million to help Ukraine aimed at bolstering the country’s economy.

Read more: Canada loaning Ukraine $120M as tensions with Russia escalate

“We’ve been there with supports in many different ways and we will continue to be,” said Trudeau.

Meanwhile people like Matsiuk are doing what they can. She joined in on a social media campaign called #StandWithUkraine.

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Iryna Matsiuk in front of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada in Saskatoon holding up the sign for #StandWithUkraine.
Iryna Matsiuk in front of the Ukrainian Museum of Canada in Saskatoon holding up the sign for #StandWithUkraine.

It is meant to bring people together and raise awareness for the country’s struggle.

“It’s kind of sad to see how it all evolves right now,” said Matsiuk.

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