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Winnipeg Ukrainian community marks 2 years since Russia's full-scale invasion

Winnipeggers gathered at the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Volodymyr and Olha on Saturday. (Source: Alexandra Holyk) Winnipeggers gathered at the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Volodymyr and Olha on Saturday. (Source: Alexandra Holyk)
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Hundreds of people gathered at the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Cathedral of Sts. Volodymyr and Olha in Winnipeg Saturday to mark the two-year anniversary since Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

The prayer service was dedicated to the thousands of Ukrainian children that have been abducted by Russia since the war began in February 2022. It was one of several events commemorating the anniversary scheduled for this weekend, organized by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress – Manitoba Provincial Council.

“I think it's a message for the children here, how fortunate they are,” said Joanne Lewandowsky, the organization’s president. “Especially those Ukrainian children, whose parents brought them here…they are safe, they came to a safe haven.

“There's no one that’s going to abduct them, there's no one that's going to give them propaganda and lies that they don't need.”

Before the prayer service, or panakhyda, community members walked to the worship centre from Saint Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral.

“These children came with their placards,” Lewandowsky said. “And on their placards, it said ‘Save the Children.’”

When asked about the Canadian government’s presence in Kyiv to mark the solemn anniversary, Lewandowsky said she is hopeful there will be a positive outcome.

“I'm convinced that it's going to be good news,” she said. “I wish I could say what it is but I don't know. But it's a positive.”

The Ukrainian community in Winnipeg will be gathering at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights Sunday at 2 p.m. to continue commemorating the anniversary and the lives lost in the ongoing war.

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