Copyright © 2024

The work of Euromaidan Press is supported by the International Renaissance Foundation

When referencing our materials, please include an active hyperlink to the Euromaidan Press material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. To reprint anything longer, written permission must be acquired from [email protected].

Privacy and Cookie Policies.

Canadian mechanic helps repair military hardware for Lviv paratroopers

Canadian mechanic helps repair military hardware for Lviv paratroopers
Translated by: Christine Chraibi

The 51-year-old Canadian left his job on hold in Ontario and came to Lviv. Volunteer John Yushchenko is a mechanic and helps repair military equipment for the 8oth Airborne Brigade.

The men in the brigade call him Ivan. John has earned the respect of all the soldiers; he flew over ten thousand kilometers to reach Lviv and help the Ukrainian army.

A resident of Sault St. Marie (Ontario, Canada), John Yushchenko told us his story: “I watched all that news from Ukraine … I can’t just stay at home and cry. I can do something. I’m a mechanic back home, and I’m more or less familiar with such equipment. So, I think to myself… why can’t I just buy a ticket and fly over there to help.”

Paratrooper Mykhailo Pandyak is impressed: “What he’s done is 100%. I was amazed when I learnt that he’d taken off work at his own expense to come and help us. I’m really glad that people from other countries want to help out.”

John Yushchenko’s grandparents were from Ukraine. They taught their grandson their native language. John’s wife is from Lviv and she helped him to brush up his Ukrainian before he left.

“I didn’t know where to go and what would happen, or how it would be. I warned my wife, daughter and mother that I didn’t know where I’d end up. Perhaps on the front lines… who knows? My daughter cried, my wife was very worried, and Mom didn’t know what to think. But now they’re glad that I’m here.” explains John.

The soldiers of the 80th Airborne Brigade say that they have learnt a lot from John. He knows a lot, starting from engines to the smallest details. The only thing that the Canadian had to learn was the names of certain tools in Ukrainian.

Mechanic Vasyl Tsiupka: “He drives the machines with us to the training grounds. That’s where the 3rd battalion is currently training. He goes back and forth with us, overtakes us on the way. John is a good man. It’s great working with him. He’s an excellent mechanic.”

John took a month-long holiday, but told his supervisor that he might stay in Ukraine longer if needed.

Translated by: Christine Chraibi
You could close this page. Or you could join our community and help us produce more materials like this.  We keep our reporting open and accessible to everyone because we believe in the power of free information. This is why our small, cost-effective team depends on the support of readers like you to bring deliver timely news, quality analysis, and on-the-ground reports about Russia's war against Ukraine and Ukraine's struggle to build a democratic society. A little bit goes a long way: for as little as the cost of one cup of coffee a month, you can help build bridges between Ukraine and the rest of the world, plus become a co-creator and vote for topics we should cover next. Become a patron or see other ways to support. Become a Patron!

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here

You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter

Please leave your suggestions or corrections here

    Euromaidan Press

    We are an independent media outlet that relies solely on advertising revenue to sustain itself. We do not endorse or promote any products or services for financial gain. Therefore, we kindly ask for your support by disabling your ad blocker. Your assistance helps us continue providing quality content. Thank you!