Quiet community floods street with Ukraine flags after neighbour's pro-Putin act

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·Environment Editor
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Neighbours are silently feuding on a suburban street after a man erected a Russian flag days after the Ukraine invasion.

Hoping the act was a coincidence, rather than a show of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Izabelle Stevens, a 20-year-old student, initially turned the other cheek.

A quick search of the man’s social media pages quickly left her concerned, and she believes his shared content indicates he is in fact supporting Russia’s war.

A Canadian community responded to neighbour's support of Russia, by flying Ukrainian flags. Source: TikTok / bee.bois
A Canadian community responded to neighbour's support of Russia, by flying Ukrainian flags. Source: TikTok / bee.bois

Watching “shocking” details of the Ukraine invasion from the safety of her home in British Columbia, Ms Stevens was compelled to take a stand.

Her actions, which she documented on TikTok, have garnered millions of views and led to unexpected support across her community.

“At first, I could tell that all of the neighbours in my area were really shocked, but none of us really did anything,” she told Yahoo News Australia on Friday.

“We were trying to keep the peace and trying be positive.

“It’s kind of like a Canadian thing, where you don't really want to start problems with your neighbour and you want to be kind.”

Ukraine flags planted across suburban Canadian street

Ms Stevens said her “breaking point” was when a visiting maintenance worker was left visibly upset after seeing the Russian flag.

This led her to believe her neighbour’s visual stand in support of Russia was now seen to be representing the entire street.

In early April, Ms Stevens posted her striking act of retaliation to TikTok, garnering more than 2.8 million views.

Underscored by the Mission Impossible soundtrack, she reveals in the video that her “only reasonable” response was to fly a Ukrainian flag.

This simple action inspired her street and locals across the community to replicate her stand.

Ms Stevens said she believes her neighbour is flying his flag to support Vladimir Putin. Source: Getty - File
Ms Stevens said she believes her neighbour is flying his flag to support Vladimir Putin. Source: Getty - File

“A few days later, I noticed that one of my other neighbours put up a flagpole and put up a Ukrainian flag,” Ms Stevens said.

“One of my other neighbours who wasn't even home, they were on vacation in Mexico, texted one of the neighbours and was like: take my (Canadian) flag down and put (a Ukrainian) one up.

“So then we slowly started surrounding him (with Ukrainian flags).”

Neighbour responds by erecting massive new flagpole

Ms Stevens’ neighbour responded by erecting a “20-foot-flagpole” right on the property line and flying a second Russian flag.

This act left her feeling uneasy as the new, obscure red and yellow flag is associated with the Socialist Workers Party of Russia, a far-right hate group.

After confronting him about his action, Ms Stevens learned her neighbour didn’t know its significance and removed it on Thursday.

While she doesn’t know when and how the dispute will end, Ms Stevens said support shown across her town took her by surprise.

Izabelle Stevens (pictured) now plans to start sewing Ukrainian flags. Source: Yahoo
Izabelle Stevens (pictured) now plans to start sewing Ukrainian flags. Source: Yahoo

The attention from social media has even led to tourists coming to visit her area to peer at the flags.

Many locals have placed orders for Ukrainian flags and one neighbour got creative and planted a yellow umbrella in the lawn while they wait.

To help fill the demand, Ms Stevens has purchased yellow and blue fabric and plans to start sewing flags herself.

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