PEI

Ukraine flag raised in Charlottetown in advance of Ukrainian Independence Day

Over 100 Ukrainians and supporters gathered Sunday as the country's flag was raised at Charlottetown city hall.

Event has added importance this year due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, say community members

The flag raising comes ahead of Ukrainian Independence Day on Aug. 24. (Tony Davis/CBC)

Over 100 Ukrainians and supporters gathered Sunday as the country's flag was raised at Charlottetown city hall.

The flag raising comes ahead of Ukrainian Independence Day on Aug. 24, which marks 31 years since Ukraine separated from the Soviet Union, said Elina Lialiuk.

Lialiuk has been living in Canada for the past two years. She said independence is even more important to celebrate this year because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

"This is the time for us to pay tribute to the courage and valour of all the Ukrainian people who are defending our freedom," she said, adding the conflict has been tough on her family.

"My son woke up at night, almost like every night, and he started crying because he was worrying about his grandparents who were in Ukraine."

'This is the time for us to pay tribute to the courage and valour of all the Ukrainian people who are defending our freedom,' says Elina Lialiuk. (Tony Davis/CBC)

Ukrainians on P.E.I. are seeing a lot of support from government and Islanders, Lialiuk said.

"We are extremely grateful for all the people who live here to help and support Ukraine," she said.

'I'm really happy we are doing all this and I really hope the war will end soon,' says Arina Makelska. (Tony Davis/CBC)

Ten-year-old Arina Makelska from Ukraine was also at the event.

"I am happy the flag is hanging there," she said. "It feels nice and I'm really happy we are doing all this and I really hope the war will end soon."

Makelska said it was tough leaving friends behind two years ago when she moved from Ukraine to P.E.I., but she has made plenty of friends since arriving.

More than 100 people attended the flag raising Sunday. (Tony Davis/CBC)

Following the flag raising, members of the Ukrainian community gathered at Victoria Park for a picnic.

They also gifted drawings to staff of the Immigrant and Refugee Services Association for helping get Ukrainians to P.E.I.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tony Davis grew up on P.E.I. and studied journalism at Holland College. He can be contacted at anthony.davis@cbc.ca

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