A Canadian man was injured when a military base near Ukraine's western border was struck by Russian missiles on the weekend, says the head of an organization now helping the volunteer fighter get back home.
Chris Ecklund of Fight For Ukraine said the man's injuries are superficial. He was struck by glass and metal fragments that he "basically picked ... out himself" and may have a slight concussion and some hearing loss.
Ecklund did not provide details about the man or where in Canada he is from.
"I've arranged to have him seen by a doctor, hopefully tomorrow," Ecklund said in an interview late Monday from Hamilton, Ont.
"But, I mean, you know, when you go through a missile strike like this — I'm sure you've heard of shell shock and PTSD and that's something I hope doesn't traumatize him."
Fight for Ukraine has been providing logistical information for Canadians who want to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia's invasion.
Ecklund said the injured Canadian is now in a country that neighbours Ukraine.
The man was about 20 kilometres from the Ukraine-Poland border, near the Ukrainian city of Lviv, when Russian missiles flew down on the military training base Sunday.
Lviv Governor Maksym Kozytskyi said more than 30 Russian cruise missiles targeted the sprawling facility. Most of the Russian missiles "were shot down because the air defence system worked," but the ones that got through killed at least 35 people and wounded 134, he said.
Poland is a transit route for Western military aid to Ukraine, and the United States has increased the number of America troops deployed there.
Ecklund said the injured Canadian sent pictures of the destruction following the missile strikes, including a huge hole in the ground, structures on fire, broken glass and burning buildings. Some of the man's documents, including his passport, were also destroyed, he said.
"The destruction was just incredible," Ecklund said. "He's a lucky young man that he's alive."
In a war such as this, Ecklund added, he plans for the worst and hopes for the best.
"It was just an absolute miracle that there were no Canadians amongst the dead and the injured," he said. "Right now, we just know of the one — this one person."
Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Sabrina Williams said in a statement that the department is aware a Canadian was injured in Ukraine following missile strikes over the weekend.
"Consular official are in contact with the individual and stand ready to provide assistance," Williams said. "Due to privacy considerations, no further information can be disclosed."
Ecklund said his organization, which he described as an information portal, has seen about 300 people "come through our website." The injured Canadian had signed up through the website then followed steps to get authorization from the Ukrainian Embassy, he said.
Defence Minister Anita Anand has said it is a person's decision to volunteer to fight, while the Canadian government can provide information about the severity of the situation on the ground in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government said about 20,000 foreigners from various nations have joined the so-called International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine — most of them from Western countries.
Ecklund said he has been in constant contact with the Canadian since he was injured.
"We got him a hot meal to just to kind of raise his spirits a little bit. Because after going through such a traumatic event, I thought, you know what, let's get a nice hot meal in his stomach. Got him a beer too. So he appreciated that," he said.
"He's in a much better place, mentally, because he knows that there's a support network there for him."
— With files from The Associated Press
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2022.
Hina Alam, The Canadian Press