“It’s not about feelings, like right now people are dying in Ukraine and sacrificing their lives, and it’s not about my feelings, or even not about my family. It’s about the whole nation, it’s all about the truth, not about feelings.”
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a horrific event with a ripple effect across the world.
Father Andrii Chornenkyii works at the Ukrainian St George’s Catholic Church in Prince George, and is feeling these effects, but wants to stress that people need to know the truth.
“For many interviews, especially here in the west, people are asking about your feelings, how is your family. But if people are dying, it’s not about my feelings, it’s about why they are dying, and the questions should be about the truth, and not about feelings.”
“Feelings are nothing if you’re not standing for truth, then we’d just live in the illusion of our feelings,” added Chornenkyii.
He gave some background on the situation in Ukraine, adding that this is something we should have seen coming years ago.
“In 2014 the Crimea war, parts of the Donbas region was occupied by Russia, and the world pretended to be blind. They didn’t want to recognize the truth, that that was invasion, that that was occupation, that that was the real intention of Russia, which today has become obvious for everyone.”
Chornenkyii said the sanctions on Russia implemented by Canada are not strong enough, and they came too late.
“Why? Because people are afraid to hurt somebody’s feelings back in Russia, or President Putin, or what?”
Chornenkyii was hurting, but he was trying not to scare his kids, and his family back in Ukraine were scared and didn’t know what to do.
“I can talk about this, but it’s not about me, and it’s not about my family, its about the whole nation who wants really to be independent, to enjoy the free life, to speak their own language, to cherish their culture, and teach their kids their culture.”
“And today Russia came and said there is no such nation as Ukraine, there is no such state as Ukraine.”
Chornenkyii said this was just the first step for Russia for a much greater invasion.
“Honestly I did expect that this would happen. I thought that I was prepared for this, but last night showed that mentally I was not prepared for this.”
“It’s hard right now at this moment because the information incoming right now from Ukraine is quite limited, because the connection is not a good one with my family.”
Chornenkyii said the two things that people in Prince George and Canada can do, is to learn what is going on, and to know the truth, as well as help support Ukraine, whether that be a donation, or a letter to your MLA asking them to speak out about the Russian invasion.