It's a story of betrayal and brutality, known in the region as "The Tragedy on the Drau." The victims were mostly Ukrainian Kuban cossacks and their families who had escaped soviet communist tyranny during WWII and were led to believe that the British were giving them sanctuary along the banks of the river Drau. Even when forced at gunpoint and bayonet-point to return to the soviet union, they resisted. Some Cossacks and their family members were killed by British troops while praying enmass, or trying to escape into the woods. Many preferred death by drowning rather than torture and/or starvation and threw themselves into the rushing river. A few managed to escape through the woods. Little is known of the fate of those the British did manage to send back into the arms of Uncle Joe.
The two men are in Canada to raise awareness of this tragedy, and funds for an interpretive memorial at the site. They launched their tour last night here in Vancouver.
Last night's presentation and book launch was held at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox auditorium, 154 E 10th Ave in Vancouver. Their next stop is Winnipeg (May 10) followed by Saskatoon (May 11) and Edmonton (May 15).