A Saskatchewan woman who leads international development projects in Ukraine is giving her take on the chaos in Ukraine caused by Russian troops invading the country.
Angela Wojcichowsky is a director with SURAC, the Saskatchewan-Ukraine Relations Advisory Committee. Her work has now been halted with people's safety quickly becoming the top priority.
She says it's just the latest conflict in a country that has endured multiple hardships in the past.
"I'm looking at even World War II, I mean the world stood by and watched (Joseph) Stalin starve the bread basket of Europe, and millions and millions of Ukrainians died," Wojcichowsky said.
"Then the Germans invaded, and the Nazis killed Ukrainians. Then we watched the Soviet Union grab up all of those countries. I think for Ukrainian Canadians, we're looking at the west and saying 'how many times does this have to happen before we stand up for Ukrainians?'
"It's absolutely unfathomable in this day and age that history could repeat itself on Ukrainian soil," she continued. "It has huge socioeconomic impacts for the world...Ukraine is a provider of food exports to a number of countries."
Wojcichowsky, who was born in Canada and is a fourth generation Ukrainian-Canadian, has friends and family in Ukraine.
"We've reached out to them, they're all scared, it's just so uncertain. They don't know what the next move is going to be," she said. "Everyone that we know thus far is okay, but very very scared."
Saskatchewan has a fairly large Ukrainian population. Wojcichowsky said the latest stat she's seen shows that 13 per cent of Saskatchewan residents trace their ancestry back to Ukraine.
"Much like Manitoba, historically Ukrainians came about 130 years ago...part of Canada's campaign to open up the west and sold parcels of land to Ukrainians. So the roots run quite deep in Saskatchewan and it seems like everybody in Saskatchewan has some sort of ties with Ukrainians," she said.
And although the conflict is geographically far away, Wojcichowsky hopes it still hits home for most Canadians.
"We're so lucky to live in a country with democratic principles, and freedom, and independence. And Ukraine has worked since the fall of the Soviet Union to try to achieve what we have," Wojcichowsky said.
"And just imagine if the United States came in to take that away...that's the magnitude of what's going on. So I think from a human perspective, innocent people that were working, and working towards a better future, are being persecuted by a lunatic."