Ukrainian refugees coming to Moosomin

May 6, 2022, 2:12 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

At the April 26 Chamber meeting, Roman Chernykh informed members on how the money fundraised for Ukrainian refugees have directly helped individuals and families who are still in Ukraine.

At the monthly Moosomin Chamber of Commerce meeting on Tuesday, Roman Chernykh updated chamber members on the process of bringing Ukrainian refugees to Moosomin.

“The refugees are for sure going to come over, it’s just the situation right now is that people who wish to come as refugees are waiting, and those are the people who don’t have the funds to apply,” said Chernykh.

“Just knowing from the people there, my immediate family members I’m talking to, people are trying to get out, and are waiting.

“I went on the website and was going through some paperwork, and it’s definitely easier right now to bring people to Canada. They don’t need a visa they just need travel vouchers so they can get through their email and then they can apply.

He said the refugees coming to the community could take a while.

“At this point right now people are still waiting, some of them are going back home if they still have homes, and the majority of people who want to come over here want to come because they don’t even have homes left,” Chernykh said.

“We’ll see the refugees for sure, it’s just a matter of time, it could be by the end of the year because to leave the towns sometimes it takes weeks. My mom and mother in-law tried to leave the town and it was nine days to cross 30 kilometers distance, it’s just impossible basically.

“The Russians don’t want anyone to leave from those cities, but there are definitely more people who want to leave, so we’ll see more refugees here, in the near future.

“As of last week, in Canada right now we have about 25,000 Ukrainian refugees, and there will be more. The government is working on planes to bring people right to Canada. Once those are in place, there will be more refugees in our area too.”

He spoke about how the money raised by the community, has been spent to support Ukrainians.

“We’ve been very successfully using our fundraising money, we have given it directly to the volunteers in Ukraine,” Chernykh said.

“We funded a couple of groups of volunteers that are helping us in purchasing things like bullet proof vests and uniforms, so we’ve been sending money to those volunteers and they’ve been gettit it to the people who need it in Ukraine.

“We’re talking about the people who are protecting the small towns and cities in Ukraine, they have nothing, no uniforms, no bullet proof vests, nothing.
“We’re helping them and it’s been pretty successful, recently a couple guys from the groups, we’ve sent them five bullet proof vests, radios and a couple more things will be sent. We’ll be sending a couple of generators out to small villages. They have no power so it’s just a matter of a few days that they will be shipped and placed.”

Chernykh said with the money raised, he hopes to purchase a mini-van for the volunteers in Ukraine.

“In some cities we have a couple of volunteers who are carrying the people from the city to the Poland border, we’ll be looking into purchasing a mini-van to increase the capacity so they can save more people and can take more things back on the return trip,” he said.

“That is why we’re not sending money to the big organizations like Red Cross and other big ones, we’re just helping the people who directly need help and it’s been really successful that way.”

Chernykh said he is currently in contact with two groups of people in the cities of Kyiv and Kharkiv, in Ukraine. He said there are about 20 people in total who want to make Moosomin home, and he planned to speak with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress to see if there are more who can be helped.