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Ukrainian-Canadian Discusses Trip To Ukraine Providing Humanitarian Relief

By Jakob Postlewaite Aug 29, 2022 | 1:11 PM

Lex Brukovskiy raises the Ukrainian flag in Clare after returning from his trip to Ukraine. c/o Municipality of Clare.

A Ukrainian-Canadian is discussing his experiences after returning to Ukraine to help people caught in the middle of Russia’s invasion.

Lex Brukovskiy was born in Lviv, Ukraine and immigrated to Canada in his youth. He currently lives in Clare, Nova Scotia, where he works as a fisherman.

He was first told about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by his mother, who is living in Lviv. He shared his initial feelings after being told.

“There was a lot of anger because it just seemed unfair that this is actually really happening. We’re in 2022, countries don’t invade other countries for the purpose of occupying territory,” says Brukovskiy. “Just confusion and anger, that’s what I felt on the 24th of February when my mom called in the middle of the night to say they were bombed. I don’t think I properly slept for the first three nights.”

He knew right away that he wanted to do something to help.

“When I saw the amount of people fleeing the country I thought maybe I could help the refugees,” says Brukovskiy “A lot of people were fleeing to Poland so I thought maybe there was something I could do there. My original plan was to fly to Poland and get as close to the Ukrainian border as I can, see what the situation is and how I could make myself useful.”

He made his way to Ukraine shortly after and was staying in Lviv when he ran into a group of volunteers.

“They asked me if I would be willing to help them out by bringing the supplies to the front lines and evacuating people,” says Brukovskiy “I was able to cross over to Poland and stock up there then bring it over the border, deliver whatever we purchased and pick up women and children who were trying to flee, also wounded people.”

He discusses his experiences in Ukraine.

“The whole country is getting bombed and under constant air raids but the actual tanks and artillery are right now contained to the eastern part of the country,” says Brukovskiy “When we got close to Kyiv they wouldn’t let us through one of the checkpoints because the Ukrainian army was going on the offensive, so we had to spend the night in the woods in our vehicles.”

He described one journey into Chernihiv where they learned Russia had dropped a bomb on a bridge which had been the only way into and out of the city. They were forced to use a pedestrian bridge under heavy artillery fire.

“I remember watching civilians trying to escape from the city through the only bridge still standing, the only route out of the city, and they just got peppered by shells. The military right away closed off the entrance to the bridge and as soon as the shelling would stop they would reopen it. As soon as people started crossing the bridge it would get shelled again, so they tried three or four times with no luck. We realized we were completely surrounded by the Russians and the only way out is getting shelled 24/7.”

He says they stayed there for five days trying to get out of the city before they were able to sneak over with the military during a rotation.

Brukovskiy did these trips twice a week before running into fuel issues. His humanitarian campaign lasted three months.

He’s now returned to his home in Nova Scotia but plans to return to Ukraine to continue his humanitarian relief efforts.

Lex Brukovskiy spoke with Acadia Broadcasting for Y95’s The Weekender. The full interview can be found here or on podcast forums like Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Lex Brukovskiy (left) with Clare MLA Ronnie LeBlanc. c/o Municipality of Clare.



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