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Northern Ont. marks two years since Russian invasion of Ukraine

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Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has displaced millions of people and killed thousands. As the war enters its third year, many Ukrainians who have settled in northern Ontario said it appears there is no end in sight.

North Bay

About a dozen Canadian Ukrainians marked the second anniversary of the conflict with song at Northgate Shopping Centre in North Bay on Feb. 24, 2024. (Andrii Bieliaiev/CTV News Northern Ontario)

In North Bay, more than two dozen Ukrainian families have since settled in the community since the war began.

Joined by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, the Ukrainian Community of North Bay gathered on Feb. 24 at Northgate Shopping Centre in North Bay to sing and talk about the impact of the war.

About a dozen Canadian Ukrainians marked the second anniversary of the conflict with songs and a renewed call for continued support to repel the Russians from their homeland.

Greater Sudbury

In Greater Sudbury, more than 150 people gathered in Hnatyshyn Park for a rally in support of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2024. (Supplied/Terry Martyn)

In Greater Sudbury, more than 150 people met in Hnatyshyn Park at the corner of Elm Street and Notre Dame Avenue on Saturday afternoon for a rally in support of Ukraine, organizers said.

The focus of this year’s rally was the thousands of killed and stolen children in Ukraine.

In Greater Sudbury the rally to mark the second anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine focused on children lost in the conflict. (Supplied/Terry Martyn)

"Russia has been taking children from Ukraine into Russia and indoctrinating them to turn their backs on Ukraine and become Russian citizens," said Terry Martyn, one of the rally organizers, in an email to CTV News.

"This under international law is committing acts of genocide."

Attendees of the rally walked from the park to the stairs of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church for a short program.

Martyn said at the church, municipal, provincial and federal politicians shared words of support and encouragement for those in Ukraine along with those now here in Canada.

Sault Ste. Marie

Members of the Ukrainian community gathered in front of Sault Ste. Marie City Hall on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Mike McDonald/CTV News Northern Ontario)

In Sault Ste. Marie, members of the Ukrainian community gathered in front of city hall on Friday to mark the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Those in attendance at the flag-raising ceremony included recent arrivals of Ukrainians fleeing the war in their homeland.

"It’s ensuring that voices in the community that are feeling these struggles of their family members, of their neighbours, of their homeland, are feeling welcomed and accepted by our community," said Sault Mayor Matthew Shoemaker.

Sault Coun. Stephan Kinach has family living in Ukraine, he told CTV News that the flag raising and this sombre anniversary hit close to home.

– With files from CTVNorthernOntario.ca journalist Mike McDonald

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