Trudeau to Kyiv | Canada to send additional weapons to Ukraine

(Kyiv) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is pledging an additional $500 million to help Ukraine’s military fight the Russian invasion, including sending more weapons.

He made the announcement alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during an unannounced visit to Kyiv to show Canada’s solidarity with Ukraine’s continued efforts to push back against Russia, amid signs of an expected spring counter-offensive could manifest itself.

Trudeau said Canada would participate in multinational efforts to train Ukrainian fighter pilots and join a team of countries contributing to tank maintenance, while providing hundreds of additional missiles and ammunition.

The Prime Minister also announced that existing aid to Ukraine would be used to support people facing a worsening humanitarian situation in southern Ukraine following the collapse of a hydroelectric dam this week.

Trudeau also announced new sanctions against 24 individuals and 17 entities for their alleged support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

During a press conference with Mr. Zelensky in the capital, Mr. Trudeau indicated that Ukraine’s fight was important for all democracies and for respect for international rules.


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland, meets with soldiers in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland accompanies him on the trip, which began with the laying of a wreath at the memorial wall of St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery to honor Ukrainians who are died defending their homeland. They also met Ukrainian soldiers.

Along the way, the prime minister at one point leaned down to peer inside one of the frames of burnt-out Russian tanks and military vehicles that fill the public square. Shortly before the arrival of Mr. Trudeau and Freeland, there was dark music and an honor guard for a coffin being carried into the cathedral for a funeral.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, accompanied by Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, visits a display of wrecked vehicles.

This is the second time Prime Minister Trudeau has made an unannounced visit to the volatile country since Russia began its massive invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

Justin Trudeau also visited Ukraine in May 2022, where he reopened the Canadian Embassy in Kyiv and met Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in person for the first time since the start of the war.

Some media, including The Canadian Press, were given advance notice of Saturday’s trip on the condition that it not be reported until it was made public, for security reasons.

Country Operations

Earlier Saturday, the UK Ministry of Defense reported “significant Ukrainian operations” in the east and south of the country since Thursday morning, with gains in some areas.

The ministry reported mixed results from the Russian military on the ground, with some units on the ground “while others retreated in some disorder”.

The UK Ministry of Defense also noted “unusually active” Russian airstrikes in southern Ukraine, where it is easier for Moscow to fly its planes.

Earlier this week, a hydroelectric dam on the Dnipro River burst, flooding much of the front line in southern Ukraine and worsening the humanitarian situation – including the need for clean water – in a area already bombed.

It is still unclear how the dam collapsed. Kyiv accused Russia of bombing the dam and its hydroelectric power station, which were under Moscow’s control, which Moscow refutes, accusing Ukraine instead of its destruction.

A dating history

MM. Trudeau and Zelensky also spent time together last month on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, where the Ukrainian president continued his campaign to bolster Western allies’ support for his country’s defense.

Canada has joined other countries in condemning the regime of Russian President Vladimir Putin for this incursion, including through economic sanctions.

Canada has also contributed over $8 billion to war-related efforts in Ukraine since last year.

This money includes the launch of a special immigration program to allow Ukrainians to come to Canada quickly with a temporary work and study permit, instead of going through the usual refugee status determination system.

This aid also includes military support of some 1 billion, including the donation of eight Leopard 2 battle tanks to support the armed forces of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Chmyhal visited Toronto in April, when Trudeau announced that Canada would provide aid in the form of thousands of assault rifles, dozens of machine guns and millions of cartridges to help the Ukrainian army to fight the Russian invader.

Mr. Chmyhal had thanked Canada for its support, but he had also stressed the need to do more.

At the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, when asked what more Canada could do to help, Trudeau said it could include Canadian military training pilots.

“We are certainly not opposed to any form of aid,” he declared at the conclusion of the G7 Summit on May 21.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also stressed that countries advocating for a negotiated ceasefire must recognize that Russia is responsible for the conflict and that it could end its invasion.

“It is not a ceasefire that is necessary. It is peace. And that peace can only be achieved if Russia decides to end its continued invasion of a sovereign neighbor,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee took a similar view after visiting the region in February.

“The strategic consequences of allowing Russia to benefit from its aggression would far outweigh the monetary costs associated with supporting Ukraine,” the committee’s April report said.

With information from The Associated Press

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