A Canadian man, Vartan Davtian, has bought a ticket to Ukraine on Wednesday, leaving behind his job and safe quiet life in Canada to go defend the besieged country.
At the airport in Winnipeg in Canada’s western Prairies region, Davtian dressed in a khaki T-shirt, bid farewell to friends, before dragging to the check-in counter, his oversized pieces of luggage containing medical supplies, clothes and a few personal items.
The 37-year-old Davitian who grew up in Ukraine said that it was his decision to put his life on hold instead of standing idly by as bombs fell on Ukraine, where his family still lived.
“It’s not right that Russia is doing this, and it’s not right for other countries to be staying on the sidelines and watching.
“The whole situation is not right,” he said before his flight departed.
Born in Armenia, Davtian spent his childhood in Ukraine before moving to Canada 14 years ago.
When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, he quit his oil sector job and started making plans to go help his former compatriots fighting the Russian invaders.
As his departure approached, he explained that it didn’t feel right to “stay and watch” from Canada the broadcast news or social media postings about what was happening on the ground, while his sister, nieces, cousins and other relatives and friends were in the grip of war.
“What’s the purpose of your life then?” he said.
He described only seeing war on television in his youth.
“And suddenly, I wake up and I see rockets destroying buildings and killing your neighbours and families,” he said in a trembling voice.
Davitian’s choice was hard for most to imagine, especially in Canada, which was almost 5,000 miles away from Ukraine.
“I have never done this before, but to watch all the news and all that stuff, I thought, ‘I’m not gonna hesitate,” he added.
Davtian spent the night before his flight with a dozen friends, made last-minute preparations and packed some of the supplies to take with him.
He shared some last thoughts about his family, with whom he was eager to reunite despite the dire circumstances, stating that it had been years since he saw them.
Some of his friends wished to join him on the trip, but could not leave Canada because they had responsibilities there.