Kelowna resident heads to Ukraine to fight for his 'motherland'

Kelowna man to Ukraine

A Kelowna resident who was born in Ukraine will arrive in his home country Tuesday to fight against the Russian invasion.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, has lived in Kelowna for nine years and will leave his two children, three grandchildren, family and friends to fight for his country.

"I am a Canadian citizen and I am very proud about that. But Ukraine is my motherland. I feel guilty having wonderful life when Ukrainian people are suffering when women and children are dying. That is why I decided to go," the man told Castanet in an email.

The Kelowna resident tells Castanet he has military training.

"I am not sure how long I will stay. This depends on the situation in Ukraine. I purchased a one-way ticket. I would come back right away if the war is over," he said.

Kelowna resident and Ukrainian Denys Storozhuk says five large suitcases full of military gear are also on their way.

"One of them was packed with tactical gear we have purchased including 10 military-grade radios we have purchased at Spades Tactical. One bag with gear was donated to us by Kelowna residents. Three suitcases will carry expensive medical supplies donated to us," Storozhuk said.

Storozhuk tells Castanet the man has chosen to remain anonymous due to fear of the Russian government.

"It is for security concerns. For example, if Ukraine is occupied by Russia obviously they will start repercussions against everyone who fought against them especially those from out of the country. All the internet is scanned and it all goes to Russian servers - any information about Ukrainians going to fight."

Those that would like to continue to donate can do so at the Ukrainian Catholic Church at 1091 Coronation Ave.

"Donations can be dropped off every day at 7 p.m.," Storozhuk added.

Storozhuk says another rally is set to take place outside Kelowna City Hall at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

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