It was a stark reminder of the truth that Ukrainians are going through each day.
On Wednesday afternoon, World Information was on a Zoom name with Oleksandr Tretyak, the mayor of a metropolis in Ukraine, when air-raid sirens started blaring.
“I’ve to flee to a bomb shelter,” mentioned Tretyak, the mayor of Rivne, a metropolis of 300,000 round 4 hours west of Kyiv.
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Tretyak took his laptop computer and continued the Zoom name from a bomb shelter, one thing he and native residents are getting all too acquainted with.
“We’ve to spend hours and hours in bomb shelters and that is horrible when it’s important to get up together with your children at 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 4 a.m., and go all the way down to bomb shelters to cover,” he advised World Information.
Additionally on the decision from the Okanagan was Denys Storozhuk, president of the newly fashioned group Kelowna Stands With Ukraine.
Tretyak and Storozhuk mentioned the concept of Kelowna and Rivne changing into sister cities.
“It’s form of taking them underneath our umbrella,” mentioned Storozhuk.
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Rivne is situated northwestern Ukraine, near the border with Belarus.
On Tuesday, a tv tower was bombed exterior of town.
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“Any minute, Putin can break our borders and he can ship his troops on our areas,” Tretyak mentioned.
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The concept of creating a sister-city relationship got here after Tretyak noticed all of the help coming from Kelowna residents on social media.
That prompted him to achieve out to Kelowna Stands With Ukraine for extra assist.
Storozhuk took the request for assist a step additional and formally requested that Kelowna make Rivne its sister metropolis.
“It’s significantly better to focus and being a direct connection as a result of our thought is not only sending some truckloads of humanitarian help — whether or not it’s used or not, possibly half of that will probably be thrown away — however work on the precise issues that they want,” Storozhuk mentioned.
“Particular connection. That’s what we attempt to do.”
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The request for the sister-city relationship will probably be earlier than metropolis council for consideration on Monday.
Metropolis councillor Mohini Singh mentioned the concept is totally value exploring.
“We’ve been very beneficiant to communities up to now. I can see if there’s a necessity there,” Singh mentioned.
“I can see us fundraising to assist communities, assist colleges, assist faculties, hospitals, so on and so forth, to assist that group get again on its ft.”
Within the meantime, Tretyak made a plea to Kelowna residents to ship humanitarian help to Ukraine.
“Lengthy-term meals packing containers, with medication, particular person first-aid kits for our troops, he mentioned.
“I’d be very grateful for you. I’d be very appreciative for you.”
He additionally requested World Information to maintain reporting on the atrocities in Ukraine and inspiring all residents to fly Ukrainian flags as an emblem of solidarity.
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