Alberta father fights at the front to defend Ukraine: ‘It’s a large-scale war’

In early March, 48-year-old Victor went from an oilfield paramedic in northern Alberta to a combat medic on the streets of war-torn Ukraine.

“When this war started, it was actually my duty to come here to help,” he said.

The father of two has been to Ukraine twice before — in 2018 and 2019 — to help the military. His girlfriend is Ukrainian and she decided to stay and fight for her country when the war broke out two months ago.

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Victor said that the first night she slept in a barracks, she was targeted by Russians.

“They got heavy artillery shelling, they were shelled.

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“She texted me the last goodbye. She said, ‘I love you. I will never see you again.’”

What happened was the worst ten hours of his life, he said, thinking the worst. But when his girlfriend told him she had survived, Victor decided to join the fight and booked the next flight abroad.

“I left behind my two children – my daughters. Pretty much everything I have.”

He said he wants to do something good with his life. He works with a Ukrainian special forces troop and helps soldiers when they are wounded. Where possible, he also helps citizens.

“Fight first, then doctor. Actually I am a soldier. I have all my stuff, my gun.”

At one point, he said his team slept under a bridge for days to help families escape shelling in Irpin.

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Victor recorded a number of videos showing the horrors he has endured in the seven weeks he has been fighting. One shows civilian bodies along the roads in Bucha.

“I’ve seen people with their hands tied behind their backs – they were murdered on the street, in their backyards, in their basements. Yes, I saw that with my own eyes.”

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Plastic bags containing corpses exhumed from a mass grave are lined up in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, April 8, 2022.

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Victor’s shock is captured in the commentary on his videos. He says the destruction is unimaginable.

For Canadians at home, he compared it to documentaries about WWII.

“It is a large-scale war. The Russians use everything: heavy artillery, mortars, rocket missiles. Everything. Everything they have.”

In another video, he shows some of the used weapons lying on the burnt ground where an airport in Gostomel once was.

Victor said his battalion had recently withdrawn from the front lines after suffering heavy casualties. Some of his friends have already passed away.

Victor has been fighting the Ukrainian army in Ukraine for the past seven weeks.

Courtesy: Victor

“Right now, for the first time in a month and a half, for the past few days I have had a decent bed to sleep on and a roof over my head,” he said.

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Victor said they are now regrouping to counter Russia’s second wave of attacks.

He feels this will be a pivotal moment in the war and has no intention of coming home now.

“In the next two weeks we will see if Ukraine will exist or if Ukraine will be destroyed.”


Click to play video: 'Soldiers from Edmonton went to Poland to assist humanitarian mission in Ukraine'







Soldiers from Edmonton on their way to Poland to assist humanitarian mission in Ukraine


Soldiers from Edmonton on their way to Poland to assist humanitarian mission in Ukraine

Victor said he is grateful to the Canadians and the Canadian government for their support of the Ukrainian military, but added that his troop is in dire need of optical gear such as night vision and professional rifle scopes, as well as night vision goggles.

Global News does not publish Victor’s last name due to security concerns.

He said he could use money for food at the moment and is accepting e-transfers. Those wishing to help are requested to email sarah.ryan@globalnews.ca for information on how they can help.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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