Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he is “appalled” after Moscow unleashed a series of lethal attacks on multiple cities across Ukraine on Monday.
The strikes targeted downtown Kyiv, among other Ukrainian cities, and killed at least 14 people. Nearly 100 more were wounded, according to Ukraine’s Emergency Service.
“I’m appalled by Russia’s continued attacks on Ukrainian civilians. This behaviour is reprehensible, and it only strengthens our resolve,” Trudeau wrote in a tweet on Monday.
“We are committed to holding the Russian regime to account, and to supporting Ukraine – including with continued military assistance.”
Trudeau also spoke with Volodymyr Zelenskyy over the phone on Monday, according to a tweet from the Ukrainian president. During their conversation, Zelenskyy said he “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.
In a separate tweet condemning the latest wave of violence, Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly called the strikes “shocking and horrifying.”
“Targeting civilians is a war crime. We will hold Russia accountable,” she wrote.
“Canada stands with the people of Ukraine.”
Joly says she has spoken with both Canada’s ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza, and the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, about the missile strikes.
According to Galadza, staff at the Canadian Embassy in Ukraine, both local and Canadian, are safe and accounted for.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the strikes were in response to what he characterized as Ukraine’s “terrorist” action, which included an attack on a bridge to the Moscow-controlled Crimean Peninsula.
The barrage destroyed critical infrastructure and residential areas alike, just hours before Putin was due to hold a meeting with his security council. Ukraine has been waging a successful counteroffensive against Russia since late August, forcing Moscow to pull back troops from some areas in a humiliating defeat.
Zelenskyy said in a video address that the Russian strikes targeted civilian areas and energy facilities in 10 cities.
“(The Russians) chose such a time and such targets on purpose to inflict the most damage,” Zelenskyy said.
The morning strikes sent Kyiv residents back into bomb shelters for the first time in months. The city’s subway system stopped train services and made the stations available once more as bomb shelters.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s spokesperson, Steffen Hebestreit, says the Group of Seven industrial powers will hold a video conference Tuesday on the situation, during which Zelenskyy will address the situation.
Meanwhile, the U.N. General Assembly was already set to hold a meeting on the Russia-Ukraine war before the news broke of Russia’s brutal barrage on Monday.
Representatives from around the world were set to respond to Russia’s attempted annexation of four regions of Ukraine last month, which it pushed forward following Moscow-backed referendums in the four areas — votes that were slammed among Western countries as a “sham.”
The U.N. assembly was originally going to consider a proposed resolution that would condemn the “referendums” and claimed annexations as illegal.
However, given the latest developments in the conflict, participating countries might take the meeting as an opportunity to condemn the Monday-morning rush-hour attacks across Ukraine.
— With files from The Associated Press, The Canadian Press