Visit to Ukraine turned into a 1-way trip for Quebec woman
Virginia Dronova says the first few days back in Ukraine were a nightmare.
“We could see so many people dying and so many cities bombed and shelled with missiles,” said Dronova, a permanent Canadian resident from Ukraine living in Gatineau, Que.
“We cried our eyes out during those days, mourning our friends, mourning our people all around the country.”
Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in an invasion on Feb. 24. Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and Western governments have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.
Dronova, who’s lived in Canada for two years, flew back to Ukraine five days before the Russian invasion to mourn her mother who passed away due to COVID-19 complications.
But her visit has turned into a one-way trip.
As the war ramped up, she decided to stay behind to help her people. One of those ways is calling for more support to help end the war.
“As long as Ukraine is fighting, Canada and other countries should help as much as possible financially, militarily, politically, in all ways possible,” said Dronova.
WATCH | Why Virginia Dronova is staying:
Call for more ammunition
Dronova wants a no-fly zone over Ukraine, adding they need “more ammunition” and more “defence systems.”
“We understand neither NATO nor other countries are ready to help us to cover the skies, so we have to do it by ourselves,” she said.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a desperate plea to Canada’s House of Commons last week calling for the West to close the skies above Ukraine.
NATO has refused to impose a no-fly zone to prevent the war from escalating beyond Ukraine.
In response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Canada has imposed measures that are meant to hobble Russia’s economy.
The Canadian government has also announced it will accept an “unlimited number of refugees.”
Dronova is not naming the city she is currently staying in for safety reasons, but she plans on being in Ukraine for as long as she can help.