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Manitobans call for support, compassion as Ukraine war marks two years

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Ukrainians around the world marked a solemn anniversary this weekend -- it's been two years since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Here in Winnipeg, hundreds gathered at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights on Sunday to commemorate the lives lost since the war began.

"If Russia stops fighting, the war will end. If Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no more Ukraine," said Joanne Lewandowsky, president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Manitoba Provincial Council.

Lewandowsky’s emotional message comes as Winnipeggers came together to mark two years since Russia invaded Ukraine. Their goal was to bring awareness back to the war and put out a plea for more support.

"We are bringing awareness back to Ukraine to the world's eye," said community activist Daria Hyworon.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a security pact, accompanied by a $3 billion deal that prioritizes financial and military aid.

"We will be there for Ukraine for 10 years and 10 years after that,” said Terry Duguid, MP for Winnipeg South.

The move comes as Manitoba nears a milestone of 25,000 Ukrainian newcomers that arrived in the province since March 2022.

"We've continued the investments to help the refugees, to help the resettlement, to help the war effort, and these resources will continue to be there as long as is necessary,” said Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew.

Kinew also pledged the province's unwavering support.

"Will we stand with Ukraine for as long as is necessary to secure a victory? Yes, absolutely. We will,” he said.

It's a message community members hope will resonate with non-Ukrainians in Manitoba.

"Regardless of your ancestry, please continue to show compassion and to offer your prayers for the people of Ukraine,” Lewandowsky said.

Morden, Brandon, and Kenora also marked the anniversary this weekend with rallies in support of Ukraine and its ongoing efforts in the war.

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