Pain and suffering have not ended after the one-year anniversary of the Russo-Ukraine war has finally arrived. Manitobans are encouraged to gather at the many planned events on Friday and pray for the fighting to cease.

Russia first set foot on Ukraine's territory in 2014, when it annexed Crimea and Pro-Russia separatists began invading the eastern part of the country following an internal crisis within Ukraine.

Since then, the Russo-Ukrainian war has mostly gone under the media radar in the west until the days leading up to February 24, 2022, when Russia made more serious threats of invading Ukraine.

Since November 2021, Russia was gathering nearly 100,000 troops along their border with Ukraine, and pulled back dozens of people from its embassy in Kyiv, bringing them back to Moscow.

Maryka Chubluk, an executive of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress - Manitoba Provincial Council (UCC-MPC) says that even back in 2014 people started moving away out of fear of the invasion escalating.

Over the course of the past year, over five million people have been forced to leave Ukraine, with many of them residing in Canada. Another eight million have been internally displaced, trying to find safe haven in the western portion of the country.

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The UCC has been one of the top Canadian advocates for bringing assistance to Ukraine during the war, urging the government to provide funding for humanitarian aid, medical supplies and military resources, along with local help for Ukrainian refugees.

"We're very grateful for all the many, many Canadians and Manitobans who have given so much," says Chubluk. "They've offered support in financial ways. There's fundraising, and it's very exciting that even a Zumba group will say they're 'Zumba-ing' for Ukraine."

Help is still needed, as 50-60 Ukrainian refugees land in Manitoba and UCC is still accepting donations of food, clothing, household furniture and other useful items.

To participate in local fundraisers and drives in support of the Russo-Ukraine war, click here:

More information about the Russo-Ukraine war can be found by visiting the UCC website.

Solidarity Rally Poster (Maryka Chubluk)

Solidarity Rally and More

Beginning at 6 p.m. outside the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, there will be a Solidarity Rally for everyone to participate in. There will be special guest speakers, singing of the Ukrainian and Canadian national anthems, and political representation from the Manitoba Premier and Mayor Gillingham.

Following the rally, there will be the opening presentation of "Ukrainian Artists United," a digital display produced by Darcy Ataman and Jason Willheim. It is a program that expresses what's been going on in Ukraine throughout the past year through photography and music.

Another event includes a prayer opportunity. At 11 a.m on February 25, everyone is welcomed to gather at St. Mary the Protectress Cathedral (820 Burrows Ave.) for a Moleben which is a supplication prayer service in honour of either Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a particular saint or martyr.

After the service, people can either drive or participate in the Walk for Peace to Sts. Vladimir and Olga Cathedral (115 McGregor St.) for an interfaith service for peace.

February 26, all Ukrainian church will participate in a united prayer for Ukraine in this time of war.

More details of these events can be found on the UCC-MPC website.