Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned Russia’s latest attacks on Ukraine as the country unleashed a lethal barrage of strikes against multiple Ukrainian cities on Monday, including downtown Kyiv where at least six people were killed.
While speaking on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday, Trudeau deplored the attacks and reiterated Canada’s support for Ukraine.
“The prime minister expressed his condolences to President Zelenskyy on behalf of Canadians to all Ukrainians regarding the tragic deaths caused by Russia’s actions,” a statement from the prime minister’s office said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said the strikes were in retaliation for what he called Kyiv’s “terrorist” actions — a reference to Ukraine’s attempts to repel Moscow’s invasion forces, including a weekend attack on a key bridge between Russia and the annexed Crimean Peninsula.
Putin vowed a “tough” and “proportionate” response should Ukraine carry out further attacks that threaten Russia’s security.
“No one should have any doubts about it,” he said.
According to a tweet from Zelenskyy about his call with Trudeau, Zelenskyy “stressed the importance of a strong G7 reaction to the Russian missile terror.”
“Ukraine needs an air shield to protect civilians and critical infrastructure,” he tweeted.
Monday’s missile strikes across Ukraine marked the biggest and most widespread Russian attacks on the country in months.Ukraine’s Emergency Service said the assault killed at least 11 people and wounded at least 64.
Larisa Galadza, Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, said staff at the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine — both local and Canadian — are safe and accounted for.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly called the attacks shocking and horrifying in a tweet.
“Targeting civilians is a war crime. We will hold Russia accountable,” Joly tweeted Monday.
Joly said she has spoken with Galadza and Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba about the missile strikes.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, said the G7 countries will hold a video conference Tuesday on the situation, which Zelenskyy will address.
—The Canadian Press