Quebec man heads to Ukraine border to help refugees flee the war

Click to play video: 'Montreal man heads to Ukraine-Romanian border to join brother’s efforts assisting refugees' Montreal man heads to Ukraine-Romanian border to join brother’s efforts assisting refugees
WATCH: A Montreal man is heading to the Ukrainian-Romanian border to join his brother amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As Phil Carpenter reports, the brothers will work to assist refugees as they cross into Romania – Mar 12, 2022

Since the start of the war in Ukraine more than two and a half million people have fled the country. One man from Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que. is headed to that country’s border with Romania to help.

Christian Tirtirau leaves Sunday to join his brother Sebastien Tirtirau, head of the charity Pilgrim Movement, help some of the tens of thousands of refugees who have been converging at the border with Ukraine for weeks.

“You can imagine they’re completely exhausted. They’re confused they have no idea what’s going on,” Christian said.

According to his brother who spoke to Global News from Siret on Romania’s northern border with Ukraine, the charity has been in the area for weeks.

“I am providing a safe corridor for refugees especially mothers with children and elderly people,” he explained.  “I’m also focusing in the African students who are stuck here at the border.”

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Read more: Canada has opened its doors for war-ravaged Ukrainians. Does it have the capacity?

He and his volunteers are providing food, housing and transportation at four border crossings.

“I have corridors towards western Europe – towards Italy, France, Spain, Germany, England and Ireland,” he pointed out.

He added that connections in Canada are in the works.

One problem, Christian noted, is the refugee issue will worsen quickly.

According to UNICEF nearly 140,000 Ukrainians have entered Romania since Russia invaded Ukraine.

“What are you going to do next week when there’s gonna be another wave of 100, 000 and in two weeks when it’s gonna be 500, 000?” he asked.

He plans to help his brother with logistics. They are appealing to the public for financial help, especially for accommodation and transportation to the refugees’ countries of choice.

The Canadian government has two special programs to assist Ukrainian nationals to come to Canada, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he isn’t ruling out airlifts as an option for refugees.

Christian and Sebastien hope they get the help they need.  This project is close to their hearts. They’re both from Romania.

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“Thirty-two years ago I was a refugee myself,” Christian revealed, saying he fled the country because of a revolution in the late 80s, which saw the ouster of former communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu.

Now he’s returning to help others fleeing another conflict.

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