(File photo)

Ukrainian sister city goes before Kelowna city council approval

Kelowna group has been in contact with northwestern Ukraine’s Rivne

A sister city relationship with a city in Ukraine will be discussed at Monday’s regular city council meeting.

The northwestern city of Rivne has been, like many other parts of the war-torn country, under fire from the Russian army since mid-February. The constant fighting led Mayor Oleksandr Tretyak to reach out to ‘Kelowna Stands With Ukraine’, a local organization that has been providing tactical gear to those on the frontlines.

Kelowna Stands With Ukraine organizer Denys Storozhuk told Capital News that one of the members of their similarly-titled Facebook page has connections in Rivne, specifically a translator/interpreter that works with Mayor Tretyak.

That set in motion the collaboration between Storozhuk and Tretyak. Storozhuk saw it as a new opportunity for the group to not only support specific military factions and territorial defence units, but to branch out to working directly with a city itself.

After some conversation between the two, it was suggested that the two make a bid to become sister cities. A bid was officially submitted to city hall on March 15, while Storozhuk received a call on March 23 that it would be headed to the next council agenda for approval.

The idea behind sister cities is generally to promote cultural and societal ties. Kelowna already has one sister city in Kasugai, Japan.

Though Storozhuk has not heard any specific feedback from councillors yet as to the agenda item, he expects it to be received positively.

“Frankly, I don’t see any reason why not to accept this proposal. It’s a very interesting idea.”

A human chain rally is scheduled for March 20 at 2 p.m. at the Dayton St. overpass.

“We need as many people as possible to form a human chain,” said Storozhuk. “For the City of Kelowna to come and show their support, and then we can send over the pictures and videos to show our support.”

READ MORE: Okanagan-based Valley First donates $25k to Ukraine relief efforts

READ MORE: Okanagan Spirits donating March vodka sale proceeds to Ukraine effort


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