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'I've lost communication with them': local Ukrainan-Canadian reflects on Russian invasion

Michael Kostiuk is just one of over a million Ukrainian-Canadians who continue to support friends and family in the country that are unwilling to surrender to an autocratic rule since Ukraine became a sovereign nation in 1991.
Ottawa ukraine embassy
Ottawa's Ukraine embassy

Michael Kostiuk says he knew an invasion was imminent, but that it didn't stop him from expressing a gamut of emotions on The Sam Laprade Show Friday, February 25.

"No part of Ukraine is safe now. That really hits home for me," said Kostiuk.

Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, unleashing airstrikes on cities and military bases and sending troops and tanks from multiple directions in a move that could rewrite the world’s geopolitical landscape.

Since 1991, Kostiuk was active in helping the newly minted autonomous nation learn how to govern itself, as a democratic society. Over the years, Kostiuk officially monitored the elections process to ensure they were free of corruption.

When speaking about the current situation in his native country, Kostiuk said he is convinced Ukraine's swift progress to eradicate the past and move into a free democracy is seen as a huge threat for Russian President Vladimir Putin

He goes on to say that he thinks Putin fears that the same level of autonomy Ukrainians have come to enjoy could be a model blueprint for other former soviet states to follow suit.

"This idea of trying to wipe out another country just because you don't think it fits your worldview, is bizarre, to say the least. It seems like I've woken up to a parallel universe where things don't make sense anymore," he said.

Kostiuk says he's just one of the over 1.3 million Ukrainian-Canadians who plan to keep fighting to support Ukraine's autonomy against a brutal Russian regime.

As of Friday morning, over 30,000 people have already fled to nearby Poland with hundreds of thousands still making their way out of Ukraine.

Listen to the full interview with Michael Kostiuk on The Sam Laprade Show below.

-- with files from The Canadian Press 

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