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Alberta artist returns to homeland to help Ukraine war efforts

Click to play video: 'Alberta artist Taras Polataiko returns to homeland to help Ukraine war efforts' Alberta artist Taras Polataiko returns to homeland to help Ukraine war efforts
Ukrainian-Canadian artist Taras Polataiko has returned to war-ravaged Ukraine to care for his aging parents and help fight the war with Russia. He joined Gord Steinke to talk about his efforts to help civilians and soldiers on the front line. – Mar 15, 2022

A Ukrainian-Canadian artist has returned to war-ravaged Ukraine to care for his aging parents and to help civilians and soldiers.

Taras Polataiko is an internationally acclaimed artist and former associate professor at the University of Lethbridge who immigrated to Canada three decades ago.

He has returned to help his parents at his home in Chernivtsi, which is located in the southwestern part of the country near the border with Romania.

Polataiko said while he feels he’s living in one of the safest areas in Ukraine, the war is having a direct impact on him and his family.

“At night we get the sirens and we have to run to the basement or a shelter,” he said.

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Read more: NATO worries Russia might deploy chemical weapons in Ukraine: Stoltenberg

Polataiko is asking for donations to help Ukrainian civilians and soldiers.

“Monetary donations are the easiest and have the most impact. We can get it to humanitarian workers and help the war effort.”

He’s also trying to help the Ukrainian civilian army who have volunteered to fight Russian troops.

So far he’s collected and shipped out medications, first aid kits, sleeping bags, clothing, protective gear and electronics like two-way radios.

“There’s 150- to 200,000 people who volunteered for civilian defence and there’s not enough protective supplies for them,” he said.

Polataiko has a message for Albertans: “Please help our effort from where you are and donate and we’ll make sure Ukrainians who need it get it.”

If you’re interested in donating or reaching out to Taras Polataiko, he is active on Facebook and Facebook Messenger.

Read more: Ukraine President Zelenskyy says Russia wants to ‘annihilate’ Ukrainians, urges no-fly zone

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