One year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, two Cariboo-Chilcotin men are sending funds overseas to aid in the continued efforts to resist the ongoing Russian attack.
Sage Birchwater and George Atamanenko are sending the first in what they hope will be a number of instalments of money raised towards the support of first responders helping in the region through the organization Firefighter Aid Ukraine.
The two men have teamed up to support the efforts in Ukraine to resist the Russian invasion by selling off the remaining copies Atamanenko has of the book 14 Months on Franz Joseph Land.
Fourteen Months on Franz Joseph Land is a translation of the journals of Ukrainian scientist Mykhailo Ivanychuk, translated from its original Russian by George’s late wife, Gloria Atamanenko.
The book is a combination of Ivanychuk’s journals from his time doing research in the high Russian arctic, on Franz Joseph Land, and Gloria Atamanenko’s forward and afterword, which put the Ukrainian scientist’s account of his time in the arctic in context and illuminate some of his early life and untimely death. Gloria’s contributions paint a stark historical picture of the challenges Ukraine has faced, caught between warring powers, and give the book a renewed relevance as Russia continues its campaign to once again take over Ukraine.
The book came about when Gloria met Ivanychuk’s son Erwin Bergman, who was adopted by an aunt and uncle after his mother passed away and he took their surname.
Gloria and Bergman met near Tatla Lake, B.C. where they both had cottages on the remote Chilcotin Plateau. Bergman then asked Gloria to help him work on translating the journal of his father from Russian to English.
Ivanychuk was born in Ukraine in 1894 and died in 1937, under Soviet rule. Though his research in the high Russian arctic region initially made him a renowned scientist, he was eventually taken from his family, tortured and killed under the Soviet regime.
Selling the books as a fundraiser came about after Birchwater inquired about obtaining a copy of the book for a Ukrainian-Canadian woman he met at a book reading. When George told him he still had a couple boxes of the books, the idea of putting them up for sale as a fundraiser came about.
So far the fundraiser has sold 55 books to 51 people and raised $1,500 towards Ukraine, with George sending the funds to the Firefighter Aid Ukraine organization through his cousin in Edmonton, Vitaliy Milentyev.
There are a couple of hundred books still available for sale, for a $20 donation for locals and for an additional $5, they will mail them anywhere in Canada.
“We’re going to keep going,” said Birchwater.
To order a book or find out more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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