By Michael Boriero
While Ukraine continues to face an aggressive assault from Russian invasion troops, Serhii Dutov, a Ukrainian student attending Bishop’s University, has been feeling powerless as he hears stories from back home of citizens struggling to make it out of the country alive.
“The first time that I read that in the news, it was in the morning, and I was just standing and I had no reaction. It was so surprising for me that I can’t even move, can’t even speak or do something because I was so surprised that Russia invaded my country,” said Dutov.
Dutov moved to Quebec in September. His parents are divorced, he explained, and his mother remarried to a Quebecer two years ago. They decided in 2021 that it was a good time to move back to the province. But Dutov’s father is still in Ukraine, as well as most of his family.
In fact, his father lives in Kyiv, the country’s capital and one of Russia’s primary targets. Dutov said his father is safe. However, the 18-year-old Bishop’s student is painfully aware that his father’s life, and his family, is in peril, as Ukraine is battered by Russian ballistic missiles.
“He is saying that right now everything is ok, but who knows, everything can change. Russian troops are trying to conquer Kyiv. It’s the biggest city in Ukraine and if they can conquer Kyiv, they will be able to conquer all of Ukraine,” said Dutov, adding his father hasn’t joined the fight.