Canada will send heavy weapons to Ukraine, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday, as the country battles a new Russian offensive in the eastern Donbass region.
Speaking to reporters in Dalhousie, NB, Trudeau said he has been in close contact with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and that Canada is “very receptive” to what his country needs amid a Russian invasion that has dragged on for a second month. .
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“Their most recent request from Canada is to help them with heavy artillery because that is the phase of the war right now,” Trudeau said.
“And Canada will send heavy artillery to Ukraine with more details in the coming days,” he added.
Canada, along with other NATO allies, has promised and already sent military aid to Ukraine in the form of lethal and non-lethal weapons to help kyiv fight Russia.
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Russian forces are regrouping in the east after failing to capture a single major Ukrainian city when a sweeping invasion began on February 24.
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“Ukrainians have fought like heroes over the past few months, and they are not just fighting for Ukraine, they are fighting for the values that underpin many of our free democratic societies, which is why the world must move forward. up,” Trudeau said.
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As the war progresses, the humanitarian crisis worsens, with more than 4.9 million Ukrainians having fled Ukraine for neighboring countries, according to the UN human rights agency (UNHCR). Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed in the war, Ukrainian officials say.
Canada has stepped up humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, providing $245 million. Of that amount, $145 million has been allocated to United Nations organizations, the Red Cross Movement and non-governmental organizations.
Last week, the federal government announced it would send 150 military personnel to help Polish authorities process and resettle millions of Ukrainian refugees fleeing the Russian invasion.
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In response to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine, Ottawa also hit Moscow with a series of sanctions, with the latest round targeting the two adult daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin and 12 other close associates.
“This Russian regime and its associates must continue to be held accountable for their actions,” Trudeau said Tuesday.
“We will continue to support Ukraine and uphold the values that underpin all of our free societies.”
Since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Canada has imposed more than 750 sanctions on individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, according to Global Affairs Canada. The sanctions aim to freeze and ban assets.
— with archives from The Canadian Press
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