We are proud Canadians of Polish-Ukrainian heritage. On our Dad's Ukrainian side, our family historically came from the Galicia region, located in the south-west of Ukraine. Both sides of our family came to Canada in the early 1900's for a better opportunity: to escape tyranny of other nations, to work hard, contribute to the building of their new home of Canada for themselves and their children, and overall live in peace.
Ukraine's history, like Europe's in general, is tragic. It has historically been at the mercy of other more powerful neighbor countries, which have invaded Ukraine's lands through recent centuries enough times to disrupt and prevent it from properly building a stable nation. A typically horrific example of this fact: during WWII, Ukrainians were forcibly conscripted into fighting for both the Germans and the Russians while they both marched over Ukrainian lands--and forced brothers to kill brothers on the battlefield. Russian propaganda often extols how the Soviet Union won WWII for the world, conveniently ignoring the fact that millions of the soldiers that made up the Soviet Army were in fact Ukrainians, thrown into the meat grinder of the war.
Or, the Holodomor genocide, where Stalin starved Ukraine in the early 1930's prior to WWII in order to starve Ukrainian opposition, with estimates of casualties estimated from anywhere between 3 million to 8 million. Only estimates can be found because this genocide was effective enough that survivors were scarce and accounts anecdotal, and the Western media at the time believed the reporting of New York Times and Stalin apologist "journalist" William Duranty. William Duranty proudly reported the "efficiency" of the USSR, while Stalin was literally stealing food from the mouths of Ukrainian starving adults, children and babies to ground them into submission and prop up the illusion of Soviet "greatness" under communism. William Duranty was awarded the Pulitzer prize in 1932 for covering up Stalin's genocide of Ukrainian men, women and children. The Pulitzer board to this day still refuses to revoke the award.
In 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine finally had the opportunity for independence. Ukraine at that time had the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons as the Soviets placed them there in order to strike Europe faster--but Ukraine wanted to be free and accepted by the West. So Ukraine was convinced by the US to give up their nuclear arsenal--on the promise by both the US and Russia at the time that they would respect Ukraine's sovereignty--a promise that now obviously echoes hard and hollow. Through over 30 years, Ukraine had to fight through the ongoing bullying terrorism of Russia, with blatant corruption and stuffed ballot boxes by pro-Russian thugs in its attempt to push down the Ukrainian yearning for independence and the onnward march towards democracy--the vision of an independent, vibrant, sovereign Ukraine.
This is where we end up now, in the early months of 2022, with this dream of a truly democratic and strong Ukraine, on the verge of being born--and an old, corrupt evil of the USSR under Putin gasping its last dying death rattle, attempting to drag Ukraine back into its empty, black, and cold grave.
We once asked our dad, Lawrence Warwaruk Sr., why Ukraine suffered so much and why it didn't seem like Ukrainians fought back. He said, "We did. But they had tanks, and we had pitchforks."
Ukraine no longer has pitchforks. Ukraine has the opportunity to be free, it just needs to be given a fighting chance. Judging by the videos of Ukrainians literally blocking Russian tanks with their bare hands, Ukrainians are not afraid to fight for their freedom. Ukrainians love life, and want to live in peace with their neighbors--just like us in the West. It is apparent which side is the right side in this war.
In addition to our previous donations to Winnipeg Harvest and other local charitable projects, Farmery has supported a number of local Ukrainian charitable and fundraising initiatives. Back in 2014 when Russia invaded Crimea, we were involved in fundraising with CanadInns; in 2018, with Operation Unifier, which helped fundraise for the Ukrainian people and honored Canada's role in training Ukrainian troops (which quality of training is definitely a factor in Ukrainian's current surprising and admirable fierce resistance to the Russians!). We were also pleased and honored to collaborate with Dave Babych in helping to bring hockey equipment to children in Ukraine, and in supporting the local Ukrainian community centre Oseredok in its fundraising efforts and community cultural support last fall 2021. We will continue to support Ukraine until they enjoy democracy like we do here in our home of Canada.
Help us in this noble cause to support democracy and freedom. For life, for liberty--Slava Ukraini!