Joy is gone but hope remains: Canadian ambassador to Ukraine on invasion anniversary

KYIV, Ukraine — Canadian Ambassador to Ukraine Larisa Galadza says she woke up with a sense of apprehension about what this day would bring, as the country marks the start of its second year of war since the start of the Russian invasion.

Sitting in a boardroom in the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv Friday, Galadza says for most Ukrainians she has spoken to, the anniversary of the invasion is not a day for reflection, as they're still living it day to day.

Missile strikes rained down on the country at dawn one year ago as Russian tanks invaded from the northern border with Belarus toward the capital city of Kyiv and from the south.

Some feared the city would fall to Russian occupation, but Ukrainian flags still fly over Maidan Square in the heart of Kyiv a year later.

Still, streets are quiet in the capital, as residents fear the possibility of Russian missile strikes to mark the anniversary.

Galadza says the mood in Kyiv is much more sombre than before the war and joy has disappeared from the city, but hope remains the sense of determination of Ukrainians to survive and achieve victory is palpable.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 24, 2023.

Laura Osman, The Canadian Press