Sunday, July 3, 2022

MLS team concerned
Aerospace city of Dnipro attacked

Former Ukrainian astronaut thanks MODG, Canadians for support

  • March 16 2022
  • By Lois Ann Dort, Local Journalism Initiative reporter    

GUYSBOROUGH – Russian forces attacked the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, which is the location of the state-owned aerospace manufacturer, Yuzhmash, the company that has partnered with Maritime Launch Services (MLS) to supply rockets for the proposed spaceport in Canso.

Major media agencies – BBC, The Guardian and CNN – report that airstrikes hit a kindergarten, an apartment block, a shoe factory and the regional airport in the city.

MLS Vice President, Communications and Corporate Affairs Sarah McLean told The Journal in an email that company colleagues are safe, but the situation is in constant flux.

Dr. Yaroslav ‘Yarko’ Pustovyi, a former Ukrainian astronaut who now resides in Canada, is director of safety for MLS. He took part in MLS open house events last fall in Canso and Guysborough, where many community members had the opportunity to meet and talk with him about his experience and expertise.

He provided The Journal with the following comments about the war in Ukraine via email this weekend (note the “r” in Russia is purposely lowercase as this new spelling is now being used in Ukraine):

“My family and I are watching this unprovoked aggression from russia with great sadness and worry. On February 24th, 2022, the world woke up to a new reality, one where a dictator has decided to submit an independent and democratic Ukraine to his will, using all the military force he has. Many innocent people have lost their lives and even more have lost their homes and everything they own. Over a million Ukrainians have already become refugees.

“At the same time, we see that the whole world stands with Ukraine, and for myself, my wife and three daughters, as Ukrainian Canadians, it is extremely heartwarming that we see Canada on the forefront of this support effort. It is on this note, that I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to the MODG (Municipality of the District of Guysborough) for the donation to the Red Cross for much-needed humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. I am humbled by this incredible generosity,” wrote Pustovyi.

He continued, “I’d also like to express my appreciation to those who have reached out with great concern for the safety of my family in Ukraine. Your notes have strengthened me and my family in this time of great worry. Over the past number of weeks, the Maritime Launch team has received many calls and messages filled with kindness and support from friends and neighbours in Canso, Hazel Hill, Little Dover, Guysborough and beyond. We have passed these messages on to our friends at Yuzhnoye and Yuzhmash. Thank you.

“In these times of distress and uncertainty, I am comforted by the spirit and warmth in this incredible community,” Pustovyi added.

Pustovyi concluded his comments stating, “With each day that passes, my family and I are incredibly proud of the Ukrainian military and the thousands of civilian men and women who are serving to protect Ukraine’s freedom. We believe in the strength and resiliency of beautiful Ukraine and its freedom fighting people. We know that Ukraine will emerge victorious, ensuring the protection of its people and democracy for generations to come.”

MLS says it has taken steps to assist those fleeing the war, engaging with a local law firm doing legal work to support Ukrainian refugees settling in Canada. The company is further supporting refugee efforts by offering a position of employment to a Ukrainian professional looking to find a career and build a life in Canada.