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Art and War: Moncton Ukrainians support front-line troops

Moncton -

Vira Kostenko is doing her part to support the soldiers in her home country.

Vira and her 14-year-old daughter Angelique have created 20 works of art for the Earth of Freedom exhibit at the Moncton Library. 

The Ukrainian mother and daughter team wanted to show people the beautiful culture and landscape of their homeland even though the war is nearing its one-year anniversary.  

“We would like to share this culture because there are a lot of Ukrainians who have recently come to Moncton and New Brunswick and we would like to show Canadian people our culture,” said Kostenko.

Kostenko’s parents recently left the country, but her brother and many friends remain.

She spoke about the tragedy in the city of Dnipro on January 14 when a Russian missile strike hit an apartment building.

“In Dnipro, the big building was destroyed by rockets and I think 45 civilians (were killed). It is very, very difficult to see the news,” said Kostenko.

The artists will donate thirty per cent of sales to the Ukrainian Club of Moncton, who will use the funds for medical supplies for troops.  

The club has held dozens of fundraising events and have purchased, collected, sorted and sent humanitarian aid back home. 

Some of the essential supplies include; 555 tactical first aid kits, 6,740 tourniquets, 21 bulletproof vests, funds to purchase 12 drones, $8,500 in groceries for displaced people and $92,000 in medication.

Money has also gone to cultural and educational programming for Ukrainian Children in Moncton.

Club president Nataliia Haidash said items are purchased in bulk in North America.

“We find different ways of transporting them to Ukraine, to the front liners,” said Haidash, “In many cases to people who have connections to them in our community.”

Days after the war began, the club began brainstorming to see how they could help save the lives of front line soldiers and civilians caught in the conflict.

“There spirit is unbreakable,” said Haidash, “They are standing for the freedom of our homeland and for the democracy principal our country is built on and they won't give up. No matter what. No matter what terrible things are happening. No matter how many innocent civilians have been killed in terrorist attacks by Russia. No matter the power outages that are happening in every corner of Ukraine every day.”

Haidash said the Ukrainian people will keep fighting and will keep standing for what they believe in.

The Ukrainian Club of Moncton will hold a day-long rally at the Moncton Press Club on February 24 to mark the one year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

Vira and Angelique’s Earth of Freedom exhibit will take place until January, 31.

To find out more about the club or to make a donation, visit their Facebook page or go online at Top Stories

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