Lubomyr Luciuk is back in Kingston after spending three and a half weeks in Eastern Europe.
Luciuk, a Royal Military College professor, called the trip an eye-opening experience.
The academic, author and president of the Ukrainian Canadian Club of Kingston says he took the trip to get a better handle on the refugee situation in and out of the war-torn country.
“Enriched by the experience and also enlivened by it and embolden to do more,” said Luciuk. “I will now work harder to help these people because they need our help.”
Luciuk travelled to a number of countries surrounding Ukraine like Poland, Georgia and Turkey.
The RMC academic was looking for answers from people that had fled the war torn country.
“Some were single mothers with children, some were young women on their own, others were family groups with elder parents in tow.,” Luciuk told Global Kingston.
“There was great resilience, great hope, a feeling that Ukraine will win the war regardless of battlefield outcome. Ukraine has already won the war in terms of solidarity it’s developing with Ukrainians around the world.”
Luciuk says almost universally the displaced Ukrainians were well received in the countries they were sheltering in.
“Nowhere did I find that there were people saying these people should go home or they are a burden. I saw nothing but generosity, nothing but welcome,” said Lucuik.
“I did not see a single negative comment about the refugees. I only saw one, and I did see one: ‘I love Russia’ written on a blackboard in front of a restaurant in Istanbul.”
Luciuk in his role as a president of the Ukrainian Canadian Club of Kingston helped start a fund to support Ukrainian post secondary students stranded in the Limestone City.
Plans are also in the works to use some of that money to support and help settle Ukrainians in the region.
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