Ukrainian-Montrealers protest outside Russian Consulate – Montreal
WATCH ABOVE: Montreal’s Ukrainian population has decided enough is enough. More than 100 protesters were out in force to protest in front of the Russian consulate. Rachel Lau reports.
MONTREAL – Montreal’s Ukrainian population has decided that enough is enough.
“We think this is against any international law and any agreements that we had with Russia,” said Svitlana Kroychyk, an organizer of a protest in Montreal Sunday.
“We are here in front of the Russian Consulate to show our position.”
READ MORE: Russia blocks web pages linked to Ukraine protests
They said that they were done feeling helpless, watching at a distance as their friends and family battled their government overseas.
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“Ukraine is one independent country,” said Kroychyk.
“It is one nation and we stand together in our territory since 1991 and we are not ready to give it up.”
More than 100 protesters gathered in the frigid cold of Montreal to have their voices heard.
READ MORE: A look at the different groups protesting in the Ukraine
There was no response from inside the Russian Consulate.
“Putin is anti-Russia,” yelled Roman Serbyn, a retired UQAM Ukrainian history professor.
“Putin and his gang must go.”
On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared he had the right to defend Russian interests in Ukraine.
“He’s pretending that he’s coming to the aid of oppressed Russian people,” said Serbyn.
“This is completely false. The Russians are not oppressed in Ukraine or in Crimea.”
READ MORE: How Crimea Peninsula differs from the rest of Ukraine
The conflict started last November after then President Yanukovych rejected a deal with the European Union.
“There is no reason for Russia to feel that it has to be an enemy of the west and an enemy of Ukraine,” said Serbyn.
“The only thing Russia has to get rid of is its imperialist mentality.”
READ MORE: Ukraine’s Yanukovych defiant in first appearance since fleeing
It was also an emotional protest for some.
Eugene Grebennikov, a Ukrainian-born Russian won’t be seeing either side of his family any time soon.
“It’s historical ties,” he said.
“I would never believe that they would be on different sides of the fighting, you know? I still cannot believe that this could happen.”
What these Ukrainian-Montrealers need is some support from international leaders.
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“It’s very sad from one side. But on the other side, I’m very happy that finally Ukraine has faced its future,” said protester Bohdan Kulchytskyy.
“Now we have a choice to fight for our freedom.”
With the situation in Ukraine getting worst by the day, these Montrealers were insisting that even the smallest action is better than none.
“Ukraine is mobilized,” said Kroychyk.
“Ukraine is not going to start the fight. We are under aggression and we are currently in the defensive position but we need the world community to watch this.”
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