Putin will ‘lose’ Ukraine war, Trudeau says, as Canada ups aid funding

Click to play video: 'Trudeau commits more aid, meets with Ukrainian refugees in Poland'
Trudeau commits more aid, meets with Ukrainian refugees in Poland
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has met with some of the many Ukrainian refugees now in Poland. Abigail Bimman looks at what Polish President Andrzej Duda is worried about, how Trudeau is pledging to help refugees, and the criticism he's facing – Mar 10, 2022

Vladimir Putin will “lose” in his war against Ukraine, Justin Trudeau said Thursday as Canada chipped in more funding for humanitarian efforts in the conflict.

The Canadian prime minister took aim at the Russian president at a news conference in Warsaw alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda. It was the final stop of his week-long trip in Europe where he met with allies to discuss Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Vladimir Putin has made a terrible mistake, and he’s going to lose this war,” Trudeau said.

“He’s going to lose this war because the ferocity, strength and resolve of the Ukrainian people defending their territory is inspiring us all, and because our resolve as friends and allies … cannot allow Vladimir Putin to be successful.”

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While at the podium, Trudeau announced Canada is providing an additional $117 million to support special immigration measures for Ukrainians trying to come to Canada.

Since the full-scale war began on Feb. 24, more than two million people have fled Ukraine, according to the UN, and more than half of them went to Poland.

Ottawa is also increasing its donation amount to the Canadian Red Cross’ Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal, and is promising to match up to $30-million worth of donations. The government originally promised to match up to $10 million, Trudeau said.

“We will continue to be there and we deplore all the further threats that Russia continues to make,” Trudeau said.

“But Putin needs to know that the consequences for his actions already will be severe, and further escalations by him … (are) going to be met with the severest of responses both globally and individually on him.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talks to journalists during a joint press conference with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda at Belwelder Palace in Warsaw on March 10. Czarek Sokolowski/AP

Throughout his trip, Trudeau has made several announcements including a $50-million aid shipment to Ukrainian forces, the extension of Canada’s military mission in Latvia and sanctions on 10 more individuals with close ties to Putin.

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The war, which entered its third week on Thursday, shows no sign of ending soon as talks at the highest level yet failed to produce any breakthroughs earlier in the day.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Turkey, but said he had secured no promise from him to halt firing so aid could reach civilians, including Kyiv’s main humanitarian priority — evacuating hundreds of thousands of people trapped in the besieged port city of Mariupol.

Meanwhile, at his own news conference, Lavrov showed no sign of making any concessions, repeating Russian demands that Ukraine be disarmed and accept neutral status.

Aid agencies report humanitarian aid is most urgently needed in Mariupol, where 400,000 people have been trapped for more than a week with no food, water or power.

Smoke rises after shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine on March 9. Evgeniy Maloletka/AP

The city council said the port had been bombed again on Thursday morning, a day after Moscow launched an airstrike at what Ukraine called a functioning maternity hospital there.

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Lavrov said the building was no longer used as a hospital and had been occupied by Ukrainian forces. The Kremlin did not initially repeat that denial and said the incident was being investigated.

The airstrike drew widespread condemnation on Thursday, with Ukrainian and British officials branding it a war crime. Three people were killed, and 17 were wounded.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was also in Poland and met with Trudeau later in the day, expressed anger at the attack but stopped short of directly accusing Russia of committing war crimes in the conflict.

“Absolutely there should be an investigation, and we should all be watching,” Harris said.

Russia calls its invasion of Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory, but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.

Kyiv and its Western allies have said this is a baseless pretext to invade a country of 44 million people to topple its government, which Putin regards as a puppet of the United States.

In the weeks leading up to the war, Moscow built up roughly 150,000 troops near the border, and continuously denied western accusations it was planning an invasion of Ukraine.

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Click to play video: 'Mariupol maternity and children’s hospital bombed as Russia ramps up assault'
Mariupol maternity and children’s hospital bombed as Russia ramps up assault

But the war hasn’t gone as planned for Russia, which was hoping for a quick victory. Instead, Moscow has been met with fierce resistance from Ukrainian forces.

Furthermore, the West has collaborated and has issued crushing sanctions on Russia to punish it for its invasion. The allies have promised to do more if Russia continues its war, but have stopped short of directly being involved militarily in the conflict, instead upping weapons shipments to Ukraine.

— with files from The Canadian Press, Reuters and The Associated Press

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