Symbolic support of Ukraine is fine, but Canadians need a serious conversation about our actions

Symbolic support of Ukraine is fine, but Canadians need a serious conversation about our actions

By Shachi Kurl, President

For every image of horror and disbelief we have seen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there have been so many inspiring “feel-good” moments of showing support.

If the hair on the back of your neck didn’t stand up during the Hoosli Male Ukrainian Choir’s electric rendition of the Ukrainian anthem in Winnipeg last week, you may not be human. Perhaps you tweeted about it under one of the hashtags related to this war or shared a meme with one of the new catch phrases. (There are so many variations of “Russian warship, go **** yourself!” that apply to modern life, no?)

We have broken up the doom-scrolling with our collective crush on Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the charismatic Ukrainian president with actual TV star looks (wow) who also won Dancing with the Stars in 2006 (swoon) and was the Ukrainian voice of Paddington Bear (gush). We have basked in the glow of blue and yellow lights everywhere, from the Peace Tower to Montreal’s Olympic Stadium to Vancouver’s Burrard Street Bridge.

It is the most human of instincts to want to demonstrate care and solidarity. It is the most human of responses to stand a little taller, fight a little harder knowing others stand with you.

If the idea is to demoralize, disrupt and defeat the enemy, then the above steps, combined with principled actions, can go some way to achieving the first two. But in the short term, no condemnation at the UN, expulsion of Russia from various international sporting and music events, or investigation by the International Criminal Court — not even sanctions (not yet) — will defeat the aggressor or stop the suffering of Ukraine.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site where it was initially published.

Image – Yehor Milohrodskyi/Unsplash

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