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Ukraine: welcoming those who flee, supporting those who remain | War in Ukraine

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This is the reality that Alexis Kleshchov, resident of Longueuil since 2016, had to accept.

On Friday, this Ukrainian of origin welcomed his father and his brother at the Montreal airport, their final stop after a journey of more than a month having taken them from kyiv to Romania, where they were able to begin their immigration procedures. to come to Canada.

The man who welcomed his mother-in-law at the start of the Russian invasion is hopeful that they came to Canada to stay.

They are disturbed, but also happy to be here because there is no longer any danger to life. They also have a lot of hope for the futuresays Alexis Kleshchov in an interview with All one morning. They intend to work here and apply for permanent residency.

The situation is quite different for his mother, his spouse and other members of his siblings who have chosen to stay in Ukraine.

My mother, my brother, my sister and my stepfather have decided not to move, because they don’t want to leave their hometown. [Ils] want to do their best to help people who choose to stay. They do a lot of volunteeringreports the Longueuillois, who offered to host his family who remained in Ukraine from the start of the conflict.

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Certainly they could have been afraid, he admits, explaining that he himself had been able to hear the sound of the bombardments during a call with his mother. Nevertheless, they keep thehope that Ukraine can get out of this war. They all believe in winning.

For us, it’s a big stress says Alexis Kleshchov, who has to watch this war from afar with his 10-year-old son and has sometimes felt helpless.

Fortunately, it can count on an unexpected surge of solidarity, both for those it welcomes and for those who have chosen to stay.

A community mobilizes

Indeed, Alexis’ father – who speaks neither French nor English – has already been able to find a job thanks to his son’s network.

His ex-employer, whose sales manager speaks Russian, will welcome Alexandre Oleksiennko to the company next week.

For us it is important, because we are able to help someone. »

A quote from Yavor Vladev, from Textrail Longueuil

Alexis Kleshchov is also very grateful to his neighbors, who have helped a lotAnd this, from the start of the war. Sixteen of them offered money or furniture for their relatives and friends in kyiv.

This is the case of her upstairs neighbor, Lucille Ross.

We were all upset, and I knew that Alexis had Ukrainian family. The next day, I went to buy flowers for his wife and we contributed. I truly shared their pain.

Dozens of people, mostly women and children, walk on a quay.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, nearly 4.9 million Ukrainians have found refuge outside the country since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

Photo: Getty Images/Jeff J Mitchell

This mobilization and the joy of reunion at the airport make Alexis Kleshchov say that there is hope for those like him who, until very recently, have taken steps and are impatiently awaiting the arrival of their loved ones. .

The delays are currently longer for those who have just made a request. It could take two months, Passport Canada is overwhelmed. Already, a month, I find that a bit long for people who have left their homes because of the warhe explains in reference to the time which passed between the arrival of his father and his brother in Romania and their landing in Canada.

Gold, even if you have to be patient, even if it will take a lot of time and effort, there are good feelings waiting for youconcludes Alexis Kleshchov.

With information from Marie-Josée Paquette Comeau and Élyse Allard

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