Mountview neighbours JoAnne Baldwin and Sheila Sayers say that wrapping boulevard trees in blue and yellow is one way to show support for the people of Ukraine, and those with Ukrainian heritage who live in Red Deer. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Trees get blue and yellow treatment to support Ukraine

Nearly 6.5 million people displaced inside Ukraine

Red Deerians are showing their support for Ukraine by adorning their streets with yellow and blue.

Sheila Sayers, who lives on 44th Avenue in Mountview, started wrapping the colours of Ukraine’s flag around boulevard trees on her street last night, following the lead of residents on a street in Waskasoo.

She said it’s a way to show that there are people who care about those in Ukraine who have endured Russian attacks since Feb. 24.

“It’s just such an unbelievable, awful, awful thing. I can’t even wrap my head around what they’re going through,” Sayers said.

She said some of her neighbours have distant relatives in Ukraine, and there are just so many people with Ukrainian roots.

“It seems like everybody knows somebody who is touched by this.”

Sayers intends to continue to hang blue and yellow plastic sheeting from the trees on her street until she runs out of supplies.

“We’ve got such a wonderful street. We all know each other. We all look out for each other.”

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In addition to decorating the trees, Ukraine flags can be seen in residents’ windows. A flag was drawn in chalk on the sidewalk in front of one of the homes.

Neighbour JoAnne Baldwin said people are just so sad for Ukraine, and updates on the invasion are so heartbreaking.

She said to be on the brink of a possible world war is just unimaginable.

“I think it’s just really kind to show that we are thinking of our neighbours because so many people in Canada are from Ukraine. We’ve had a really good response on our street. Whatever we can do to support community, we always do,” Baldwin said.

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The U.N. Migration Agency estimates that nearly 6.5 million people have now been displaced inside Ukraine, on top of the 3.2 million refugees who have already fled the country.

The estimates from the International Organization for Migration suggests Ukraine is fast on a course in just three weeks toward the levels of displacement from Syria’s devastating war – which has driven about 13 million people from their homes both in the country and abroad.

The findings come in a paper issued Friday by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. It cited the IOM figures as “a good representation of the scale of internal displacement in Ukraine — calculated to stand at 6.48 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine as of March 16.”

— with files from The Associated Press



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

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