Russia-Ukraine: Trudeau will meet with allies


As Olivia Milton and her husband packed their four-year-old son for trips to their neighborhood bomb shelter in Kyiv, they wrote a story to explain the flurry of activity to him.

As Russia’s war on Ukraine is ongoing, Milton, 33, said they told him there was a ‘crazy man’ who was ‘a little sick’ coming to take their land with his fighter planes and tanks.

“Hey mom, you know, I had a dream today,” Milton recalled, his son later telling her. “I dreamed while I slept, and I dreamed that I had a police tank protecting the city.”

Milton discussed the war in an interview with The Canadian Press from his family’s apartment in Kyiv days before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in London on Sunday evening for the start of a four-country European tour. He offered a subtle human snapshot of the conflicts in Ukraine as 1.5 million citizens fled across Europe in an unprecedented refugee crisis.

Trudeau plans to meet with several allies to discuss responses to Russia’s attack and the humanitarian crisis it has now spawned.

Milton said she and her family were staying put, in part because they weren’t sure it would be safe to flee Kyiv.

Trudeau arrived in Britain as plans to evacuate civilians from a Ukrainian port city collapsed for the second time.

Residents were to leave Mariupol during the local ceasefire from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Ukrainian military authorities said earlier in the day, but Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko later said that planned evacuations had been halted due to a continued assault by Russian troops.

It is not possible to know the exact number of people killed since the February 24 invasion. The United Nations human rights office said 364 civilians were killed, but the true number is likely much higher. Russian and Ukrainian officials did not provide information on military casualties.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said in an intelligence update on Sunday that Russia’s tactics in Ukraine were comparable to their previous bombings of towns in Chechnya in 1999 and Syria in 2016 with airstrikes and weapons. artillery, after Russian forces encountered unexpected resistance. The intelligence report says the strength of Ukrainian fighters continues to surprise the Russians and that the bombardment of cities including Kharkiv, Chernihiv and Mariupol was an effort to break Ukrainian morale.

During an hour-long conversation on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop fighting in an attempt to address humanitarian concerns and try to find a political solution.

The Kremlin said Putin responded that Russia’s military action in Ukraine could only be stopped “if Kyiv ceases hostilities and meets Russia’s well-known demands.”

With a third round of talks between Ukraine and Russia scheduled for Monday, the Kremlin said Putin had said he hoped Ukraine would take “emerging realities” fully into account.

On Monday, Trudeau will compare notes with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London, where they will be joined by their Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte.

In the following days, Trudeau is scheduled to meet with other leaders in Riga, Latvia, Berlin and Warsaw, Poland.

He is scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and visit the Latvian military base where hundreds of Canadian Forces personnel contribute to Canada’s leadership in that country of NATO’s longstanding deterrence mission to strengthen its Eastern European flank against Russia.

Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly has traveled to Europe in recent days for meetings with NATO and European Commission officials about ongoing efforts to sanction Russia. International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan will also travel to Geneva, then join Trudeau in Eastern Europe to meet with the United Nations and others for talks on Ukraine.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday renewed his plea for a no-fly zone over his country, saying in a video address that “the world is strong enough to close the skies to us”.

Canada and its NATO allies have ruled out a no-fly zone, saying it would essentially lead to an all-out air war between NATO forces and Russia. Putin made it clear that he would view such a move as a hostile act.

The deployment of fighter jets over Ukraine could “under the current circumstances” be considered as “NATO’s entry into the war and therefore risk a third world war”, the head of the the European Union Charles Michel in an interview with the AP.

Instead, the alliance of Western nations chose to send weapons and defensive equipment to Ukraine while attacking the Russian economy with an unprecedented series of measures to isolate it.

Before leaving Canada on Friday, Trudeau said he wanted to join partners in finding ways to counter disinformation and misinformation that he said was “a particularly strong facet of this conflict, of this war in Ukraine. “.

In Kyiv, Milton said she and her husband worked in what she called an “information army” as part of the Ukrainian resistance.

She said the group is made up of hundreds of tech workers, PR, marketing and advertising specialists who have sent information to Western media, bombarded social media platforms and tried to break into Russia itself. to show its population that its young soldiers are dying needlessly. .

This includes photos, videos, digital information and other testimonials to back up what they see and hear.

Milton and her husband told their son that his parents have ‘joined up with this army of information informing the world’ to explain to him why he has to go back and forth between an air-raid shelter and can no longer play outside with other children.

Her young son, she says, seems to accept the situation, as he told her of his dream of owning a very large tank.

“He behaves like a young man,” she said. “He says, ‘Mom, I’m going to protect you.’

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on March 6, 2022.

— with files from the Associated Press.

Get in touch

Are you in Ukraine? Do you have family in Ukraine? Are you or your family concerned? E-mail [email protected].

  • Please include your name, location and contact information if you would like to speak to a CTV News reporter.
  • Your comments may be used in a story.

Comments are closed.