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Canada sanctions 23 Russians, announces $500M military aid package for Ukraine

Click to play video: 'Kherson villagers cheer, give flowers as Ukrainian soldiers arrive after Russian withdrawal'
Kherson villagers cheer, give flowers as Ukrainian soldiers arrive after Russian withdrawal
WATCH: Kherson villagers cheer, give flowers as Ukrainian soldiers arrive after Russian withdrawal – Nov 12, 2022

Canada sanctioned 23 Russians and committed $500 million in additional military assistance for Ukraine on Monday as the war overseas nears its nine-month mark.

The $500 million promise builds on the $500 million in military aid for Ukraine announced in Ottawa’s 2022 budget, the prime minister’s office said in a news release. Justin Trudeau is in Bali, Indonesia, for the G20 Summit as the conflict continues.

Read more: Canada to lay fresh sanctions against Russia, provide new aid for Ukraine: sources 

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Ottawa’s funding will go toward military, surveillance, communications equipment, fuel and medical supplies, his office said. So far this year, Canada has committed $3.4 billion in assistance to Ukraine this year, and is committed to working with international partners to “increase pressure on Russian officials and hold (Russian President) Vladimir Putin accountable for his illegal invasion as well as the war crimes and human rights violations that have been committed by his regime.”

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Meanwhile, the federal government is sanctioning 23 members of the Russian justice and security sectors, including police officers and investigators, prosecutors, judges, and prison officials. Ottawa claims the individuals have been “involved in gross and systematic human rights violations against Russian opposition leaders.”

The new measures build on the sanctions Canada has imposed on more than 1,400 individuals and entities since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Click to play video: 'Ukrainian troops reclaim Kherson, Russian forces retreat'
Ukrainian troops reclaim Kherson, Russian forces retreat

“Canada continues to support Ukraine as it defends its territory, sovereignty, and independence from Russia. This additional military assistance will support Ukrainians as they bravely continue to fight against Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion, while these new sanctions will put added pressure on those who support these acts of war,” Trudeau said in a news release.

“We, along with other members of the international community, will continue to use every tool at our disposal to hold Russia accountable for its brutal actions against Ukraine.”

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Ukrainian Canadian Congress National President Alexandra Chyczij said in a statement the group welcomed Trudeau’s announcement.

“The Ukrainian Armed Forces are fighting bravely, liberating Ukrainian territory from Russian occupation, including the recent liberation of Kherson. The more weapons, equipment and aid provided to Ukraine, the sooner Ukraine’s armed forces will drive the Russian invaders from Ukrainian land and peace will return to Europe,” Chyczij said.

“We are grateful to Canada for the continued commitment to Ukraine’s freedom.”

Meanwhile, Russia on Monday banned 100 Canadians from entering the nation, including actor Jim Carrey, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Global News journalist David Akin.

Putin is not attending the G20 summit where Trudeau and other world leaders are gathering this week. However, he has dispatched his foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in his place.

Read more: Kherson surrender ‘beginning of the end’ for Russia’s war in Ukraine: Zelenskyy

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Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said on Saturday that she would not meet with Lavrov if she was invited to do so, saying it would legitimize Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

On Sunday, the prime minister said the Canadian delegation will continue to criticize the Russian government for its invasion of Ukraine.

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