Guelph rally requires peace in Ukraine

The Royal City was the latest location in the area of a solidarity rally for Ukraine.

Dozens gathered in Market Square Sunday to call for peace in the country as Russia invades.

“It stuns us, as Canadians, Guelphites, and it leaves us speechless to the question that our children ask us, when they ask us this: how can such evil exist in the world today?” said Father Adrij Figol of the Holy Protection of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Those attending the rally told CTV News the moment requires a response, while others shared how the conflict is affecting them here in Canada.

“I have family members and friends in Ukraine who are currently staying at home and trying to hide from this war,” said one rally participant. “So I came here to show support for them as well as to show the community that there are Ukrainians here.”

Svyatik Artemenko, a soccer player going to the University of Guelph, was a goaltender with Guelph United and recently signed with a Western Ukrainian soccer club before trading in his cleats for combat boots and joining the fight in Ukraine.

“We have a soccer player, a young soccer player from the University of Guelph who has traded in his soccer attire for a uniform and is fighting in the war right now,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “He’s from our city.”

The mayor adds that Guelph will welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms “like we always do.”

“We see the compassion and the support of the people here that are standing against terror in the world that Putin is imposing unnecessarily,” said Father Figot.

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