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Penticton, B.C. woman continuing efforts to support family, friends in Ukraine

Click to play video: 'Penticton, B.C. continuing efforts to support family, friends in Ukraine' Penticton, B.C. continuing efforts to support family, friends in Ukraine
Penticton, B.C. continuing efforts to support family, friends in Ukraine – Mar 31, 2022

The city of Chernihiv, Ukraine, has been under heavy bombardment despite Russia saying they would drastically scale back attacks there.

Thousands of residents have fled the area including the parents of Penticton, B.C. resident Svitlana Shkyn.

“Unfortunately, no one believes Russia, no one believes in those words. They’ve been saying that they’re not going to start the war and that it is just the west saying gossip but here we are in a full war,” said Shkyn.

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“My parents were able to escape the city of Chernihiv, they are in a safer space right now. That happened thankfully to my brother. Once he heard the rockets bombing our street, he was able to come and help them drive away from our street.”

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Her brother is still in their hometown actively fighting in Chernihiv’s territorial defense forces.

“I am very proud of my brother. He is still there in Chernihiv city protecting the borders because the city gets occupied by three different routes,” she said.

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Russian troops not withdrawing but regrouping in Ukraine, NATO says – Mar 31, 2022

Shkyn who is a part of the Ukrainian Canadian Volunteers Association of the Okanagan and works at the Penticton Lakeside Resort helped organize fundraisers for Ukraine earlier this month.

As of Thursday evening, the association has raised over $38,700. Shkyn said her brother has received some protective gear made possible by funds raised by the Okanagan community.

“Now he has a helmet, so thank you Okanagan community. His division members have bulletproof vests that helps a lot. That is all pretty much what they’ve been asking for,” said Shkyn.

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Read more: Penticton, B.C. resort to host Ukraine support fundraiser on Friday

The fundraisers also supported the purchase of 10 night-vision tools that will be delivered to Ukraine this weekend.

She plans to continue supportive efforts here as communities in Ukraine are still in need of necessary supplies, protective gear, food, and medicine.

“We are not stopping yet on this because we have other frontline soldiers and people, volunteers that need our help. We are currently running the online silent auction that is running until April 6. We sell online arts and crafts,” she said.

“We are also planning a Ukrainian bake sale on Easter day on April 17, at the Penticton Lakeside Resort.”

Her current goal is to help purchase an ambulance from Denmark to send to people in Ukraine.

“A lot of injured regular people and soldiers from ‘hot spots’ are getting transported to cities that are considered safer right now. Those emergencies vehicles that are fully equipped would be a huge help, they could save lives,” said Shkyn.

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