A look at Zelensky's visit to Canada:
Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky was in Ottawa to address the House of Commons now and attended a reception in Toronto with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of Canada’s vast Ukrainian diaspora.
- In photos: Zelensky's visit to Canada
- Zelensky: Moscow attempting genocide in Ukraine
- Canada adds $650-million in aid for Ukraine
- Zelensky in Parliament: ‘Moscow must lose, once and for all’
- Canadian leaders greet Zelensky
- Zelensky meets with Governor-General Mary Simon
- Zelensky’s schedule of events in Ottawa and Toronto
- Video: ‘Life and justice must prevail,’ Zelensky says in Parliament speech
Zelensky appears at Toronto’s Fort York Armoury to greet supporters
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been welcomed by a large crowd of supporters at a Canadian Armed Forces facility in Toronto.
About 1,000 people have gathered in the Fort York Armoury to show support for Zelensky, who is visiting Canada for the first time since Russian troops began a full-scale assault on Ukraine in February 2022.
Zelensky arrived at the venue accompanied by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland.
The Ukrainian president thanked Canada and Canadians earlier today during an address to Parliament in Ottawa for standing with his country and his people in the war against Russia.
Trudeau has announced that Canada is extending its financial support to Ukraine with a $650-million commitment to give the country more predictable and stable support over the next three years.
Canada has already contributed more than $8-billion in support to Ukraine, including providing air defence systems, armoured vehicles and artillery shells, and training of Ukrainian soldiers, among other commitments.
– The Canadian Press
Zelensky had to make the case for financial and military aid during Ottawa trip, expert says
The Ukrainian president had three goals for his trip to Ottawa, said Roland Paris, director of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa in an interview with The Globe: show gratitude to Canada, make the case for continued financial and military aid and dispel doubts that the Ukrainian military is not up to the task.
“If Russia were to win, then other countries in the region would face a potential military threat from Russia, including countries that are members of NATO, and where Canada has troops based,” Prof. Paris said.
The longer a war goes on, he said, the more leaders need to contend with the fatigue that sets in – and while that hasn’t happened yet in Canada, there is a growing, but still minority, opinion in the United States questioning the scale of American support for Ukraine.
“We should expect that there will be tensions and fissures,” Prof. Paris said, adding that Canada can play a role beyond giving direct support to Ukraine by also helping to sustain the broad coalition of support that it currently enjoys from the West.
On security guarantees and Canada’s role, he said: “I don’t think that we have the resources to be able to single handedly defend Ukraine, it’s always done in the context of a coalition or Alliance.”
Zelensky, Trudeau to travel to Toronto for reception
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland will host Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Toronto this evening. They’ll meet for a roundtable with Canadian business leaders, and later attend a reception that will include members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community.
At press conference with Trudeau, Zelensky says Canada and Ukraine have a warm relationship
At a press conference with Ukrainian and Canadian journalists, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked which security guarantees and which elements of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s peace plan he will champion.
On Ukraine’s proposed 10-point peace plan, Mr. Trudeau said the federal government is still analyzing it but he is seized by the point focused on supporting displaced persons and kidnapped children. Canada’s multiyear support for Ukraine is part of its response to the security guarantees Mr. Zelensky has asked the West for, the Prime Minister added.
Mr. Zelensky said that Ukraine will sign separate bilateral deals with allies that reflect the particular circumstances of each country. For example, he said some countries have stronger militaries than others and therefore are able to provide different levels of assistance.
In response to a question about the West’s support for Ukraine beginning to fracture, the Prime Minister said the rule of law, territorial integrity and sovereignty “must and does matter to all countries around the world.”
Mr. Zelensky was also asked about pressure from the Western world for him to go ahead with next year’s presidential elections, despite the imposition of martial law.
He said Canada and Ukraine have a warm relationship and don’t press each other but do raise issues.
The President said that setting aside the fact that there are typically no elections under martial law, there are complicated security and logistics questions to consider. For example, he said the government needs to address how soldiers on the front lines will vote and how Ukrainians in Russian-controlled territory can also vote.
Trudeau: ‘Canada’s support for Ukraine is unequivocal’
At a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is shifting its aid approach for the war-torn country, to start giving multiyear assistance. The goal, he said, is to ensure the Ukrainian government has predictable support for longer term planning.
Mr. Trudeau said Canada will give an additional $650-million over three years to supply Ukraine with 50 Canadian-made armoured vehicles, including ones for medical evacuation.
The Prime Minister said of the $500-million in military assistance announced in June, $76-million will be allocated for high-resolution drone cameras, $30-million for the Leopard 2 maintenance and service centre in Poland and $33-million for a United Kingdom-led program that is delivering high-priority air defence equipment to Ukraine.
“Canada’s support for Ukraine is unequivocal and always will be,” Mr. Trudeau said. “We will continue to stand with you as long as it takes.”
Mr. Zelensky thanked Canada for its support, calling the country one of Ukraine’s biggest supporters. He in particular underscored the value of Canada’s demining efforts in Ukraine. Mr. Zelensky said about one third of the country is littered with unexploded bombs.
Zelensky: ‘Don’t give up, stay strong against all odds, and so shall it be’
“Je te remercie, Canada,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said near the end of his speech, in a nod to the country’s other official language.
Earlier in the day, at the beginning of his meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he said that while he doesn’t speak French he wanted to make sure people knew his thanks were extended to everyone in Canada.
Unlike his virtual speech to Parliament in March, 2022, which was done entirely in Ukrainian, Friday’s in-person speech was in English.
At the end of his address he told the audience that during his morning meeting with Governor-General Mary Simon, she taught him the Inuktitut word for don’t give up: Ajuinnata.
“Don’t give up, stay strong against all odds, and so shall it be,” Mr. Zelensky said. “Ajuinnata, Canada. Ajuinnata, Ukraine. Slava Ukraini.”
Zelensky thanks Canada for its support: ‘Ukraine and Canada are the same. We stand and we fight for life’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Canada for being a home to the thousands of Ukrainians who have fled here since Russia’s invasion.
He called Canada’s hospitality not just a legacy of its history but a sign of the country’s character.
“Ukraine and Canada are the same. We stand and we fight for life,” Mr. Zelensky said. “Ukraine, not genocide, will be victorious in this war. People will be the winners, not the Kremlin.”
“Freedom will be the winner. Justice will be the winner. You can know this for sure about us, because you know for sure about yourself, that you would never submit to evil.”
He said one day he hopes there will be another monument erected in Edmonton, and in cities across the world, to commemorate Ukraine’s victory against Russia in this war.
Zelensky: ‘Moscow must lose, once and for all’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky began his speech to the House of Commons noting that the first monument ever established for the victims of the Holodomor was erected in Edmonton.
The Holodomor was a Soviet-designed, man-made famine that ravaged Ukraine in 1932 and 1933. In 2008, Canada recognized the massacre as a genocide.
Mr. Zelensky said Ukrainians are living through another Kremlin-orchestrated genocide, this time carried out by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Moscow must lose, once and for all. And it will lose,” Mr. Zelensky said in his speech, which was delivered in English.
He thanked the government and Canadians for their support, saying Canada has led the world in its response and shown strong leadership on the world stage.
“Justice is not an empty word for Canada,” said Mr. Zelensky.
House of Commons packed to capacity for Zelensky’s speech
The House of Commons is packed to capacity for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s speech, with a visible presence of Parliamentary Protective Service officers around the upper level public gallery.
Outside the West Block (the temporary home of the House of Commons for the next decade or so while Centre Block undergoes extensive restoration), there was a heavy security presence too. Wellington Street immediately in front of Parliament Hill was cordoned off, and police were stationed at each of the gates offering access to the Hill. Interestingly, though, the security precautions for Mr. Zelensky’s visit and speech are distinctly less obvious or onerous than they were for U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit a few months ago.
Still, the security perimeter didn’t deter several dozen blue-and-yellow clad Ukraine supporters who gathered around the gates to express support and gratitude. One man clutched a white poster board that read “Volodymyr Zelensky, the greatest wartime leader since Winston Churchill.” Others held posters showing two hands, one printed like the Ukrainian flag and one like the Canadian flag, tightly interlocked under the slogan “Whatever it takes.”
Zelensky arrives to shout of ‘Slava Ukraini’; Trudeau says Ukrainian president is a ‘great champion of democracy’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in the House of Commons to the shout of “Slava Ukraini” and a long standing ovation and cheers. He was accompanied by his wife, first lady Olena Zelenska, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The Prime Minister introduced Mr. Zelensky to the House of Commons as “a great champion of democracy.”
Mr. Trudeau paid homage to the suffering that Ukrainians have endured since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, 2022, noting that the war has dragged on for one year, six months and 29 days.
“The people of Ukraine have defended their homes, their language and their freedom to choose their own future,” Mr. Trudeau said.
He announced that Canada will provide funding for mental health care to help people with the emotional toll of the war.
“History will judge us on how we defended democratic values. Ukraine is at the tip of the spear of this great challenge of the 21st century,” the Prime Minister said.
Mr. Trudeau acknowledged the Ukrainians who fled the violence, more than 175,000 of whom have made Canada home since the war broke out.
“Today, our gallery is filled with Ukrainians,” the Prime Minister told Mr. Zelensky, saying they came to “show their support and gratitude for you over there.”
Mr. Trudeau embraced Mr. Zelensky with a handshake and a half hug as he handed the podium to the Ukrainian President.
House of Commons packed for Zelensky’s address to members of Parliament and Senators
Hundreds of people gathered in the House of Commons for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s address to members of Parliament and Senators, as well as other senior government staff, top civil servants and dignitaries.
A scattering of people in the House of Commons and in the public galleries overlooking it wore traditional embroidered Ukrainian blouses in a show of solidarity with the war-torn country.
For more than half an hour members of all the major political parties milled about, excitedly anticipating Mr. Zelensky’s delayed speech. At 1:15 a hush fell on the chamber as everyone took their seats. It was broken by someone shouting “Slava Ukraini,” which received applause and a standing ovation from people on the floor of the House and the audience in the public gallery.
Because the speech is not before a formal sitting of the House of Commons, non-MPs are also on the floor of the House and sitting in MPs’ chairs, including political staff and Ukrainian-Canadian and former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj.
The speech is expected to start about 30 minutes later than scheduled.
Canada extending $650-million in additional aid for Ukraine
Canada is unveiling $650-million in new aid for Ukraine today and new sanctions over Moscow’s kidnapping and removal to Russia of Ukrainian children, a senior government source says.
The aid money will be spread out over several years.
The source was granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
That’s on top of $500-million announced by Canada earlier this year.
To date Canada has provided more than $9-billion in support for Ukraine including a $2.4-billion loan.
Canada’s contributions to the Ukrainian war effort so far
Canada is home to one of the largest diasporas of Ukrainians, second only to Russia. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland is one of the approximately 1.4 million Canadians with Ukrainian heritage. She has been in regular contact with the country’s Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal, since the Russian invasion.
In May, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked Canada for its support, saying he couldn’t ask Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for anything more. Since then though, the two countries have navigated tense moments, including Canada’s release of Russian-owned gas turbines last summer.
According to the federal government, Canada has given Ukraine the highest per-capita direct financial support compared to any country in the G7. Since January, 2022, that aid has totaled more than $8.9-billion, including military equipment, and financial and humanitarian aid.
That total includes a $2.4-billion loan the federal government gave the Ukrainian government in the March budget.
Zelensky to Trudeau: ‘Thank you that you stay with us and will stay to our victory’
At the top of his meeting with Justin Trudeau, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky thanked the Prime Minister for hosting him, his wife and his team, as well as the many Ukrainians who have come to Canada during the war.
For his part, Mr. Trudeau said Friday’s meetings were an opportunity to stand “very, very strongly against Russia” and for Canadians to express “how strongly and unequivocally we stand with Ukraine.”
Mr. Zelensky credited the Prime Minister for standing with Ukraine from the first days of full scale war, both in “phone calls and real steps,” including military, financial and humanitarian aid.
“I have a lot of words, warm words and thanks to say from Ukrainians, to you, to your beautiful country,” Mr. Zelensky said. “I know it’s beautiful. I have no time to see it, but I know that it’s beautiful.”
Mr. Zelensky suggested that he and his family would come back to see it properly after Ukraine’s victory against Russia.
The Ukrainian President said he couldn’t speak French, but his words were “to all Canadians.”
“Thank you so much. Thank you that you stay with us and will stay to our victory.”
Cybersecurity officials warn about possible hacking during Zelensky visit
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s appearance in Ottawa came with a warning Friday morning from Canada’s signals-intelligence agency of possible hacks on the websites of governments and key services.
“It’s not uncommon to see increased distributed denial of service campaigns against NATO countries that support Ukraine, or host visits from Ukrainian government officials,” the Communications Security Establishment said in an announcement this morning.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks aim to overwhelm websites using bots that swarm pages and overload servers, making it impossible for people to access sites.
CSE is calling on “operators of government and critical infrastructure web sites – to adopt a heightened state of vigilance, and to bolster their awareness of and protection against malicious cyber threats.”
In April, pro-Kremlin groups claimed responsibility for taking the websites for the Canadian Senate and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offline during the visit of Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.
– The Canadian Press
Canadian leaders greet Zelensky
Among the politicians standing in Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s welcoming line on Parliament Hill was Conservative Senator Denise Batters who told the President that all of her ancestors are Ukrainian. She wore an embroidered blouse, which, she said, her grandmother made 100 years ago before coming to Canada.
“Thank you for defending our Ukrainian homeland,” Ms. Batters told Mr. Zelensky, adding, “Slava Ukraini” – meaning glory to Ukraine.
According to The Kyiv Independent, the phrase has roots going back more than a century but gained new significance in March, 2023, after video surfaced of a Ukrainian prisoner of war being executed. His last words were “Slava Ukraini.” The English-language Ukrainian news outlet calls the term a “patriotic rallying cry,” comparable to “God save the King” in Britain or “vive la France.”
Ms. Batters was introduced by Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, who told the Ukrainian President that he comes from Western Canada where “there are many proud Ukrainians who helped build our country.”
Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet told Mr. Zelensky it “is an honour to support your courage and the independence of your country,” and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh called Mr. Zelensky an “inspiration to so many people.” The Ukrainian President responded with nods and thank yous to each of the politicians.
Zelensky’s opening remarks: ‘You helped us on the battlefield’
A late-morning welcoming ceremony included the leaders of House parties and Senate groups, along with the Speakers of both chambers. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shook hands with the line-up of officials and signed a guest book before proceeding to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office for a meeting.
In opening remarks, Mr. Zelensky thanked Canadians for their support and asked that it continue.
“You helped us on the battlefield financially and [with] humanitarian aid, which is crucial,” Mr. Zelensky said in English, sitting across from the Prime Minister.
He added that he wants to discover “your beautiful country” after the “common victory,” adding that he might bring his children to Canada on such a visit.
– The Canadian Press
Zelensky meets with Governor-General Mary Simon, travels to Parliament Hill
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife, first lady Olena Zelenska, began their public events in Ottawa Friday with a brief meeting with Governor-General Mary Simon at Rideau Hall.
Mr. Zelenksky kept to his signature style – ditching the formal suits of other world leaders for dark green khaki pants and a button up shirt.
Following his meeting with the Governor-General, Mr. Zelensky travelled to Parliament Hill for a welcome ceremony, where he was greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He then briefly met senior leaders from the House of Commons and Senate, including the Speakers of the two chambers and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.
Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Zelensky are heading into a bilateral meeting, then the two leaders will join a larger group for an extended meeting, which will include Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, Defence Minister Bill Blair, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, and Trade Minister Mary Ng.
Ahead of those meetings, Mr. Zelensky posted on social media to say that his talks would focus on defence cooperation and his 10-point peace plan. He said he would also sign bilateral agreements that will strengthen the economic ties between Canada and Ukraine.
Shannon Proudfoot: Zelensky to remind Parliament Ukraine needs world’s attention
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a remarkable communicator, and he carefully calibrates his big speeches to each international audience. When he spoke to Congress, he focused on the freedom and liberty that Ukraine is now fighting for, as the U.S. once did. At the UN, he advocated for procedural changes to make that international body less toothless; to the British Parliament, he focused on the common European security Ukraine is defending. His message is always a variation of this: Do not look away from us. Do not become complacent. We are the ones on the front lines, but we’re doing this for all of you, and we need more help.
I’ll be watching to see what his appeal is to Canadian legislators along those lines.
Zelensky meets with Governor-General Mary Simon
Governor-General Mary Simon is meeting with Mr. Zelensky and his wife Olena Zelenska this morning in Ottawa.
Russia to boost budget spending by 25.8 per cent
MOSCOW—Russia plans to increase budget spending by 25.8 per cent to $383 billion in 2024, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said on Friday.
Moscow is spending heavily on its armed forces as it prosecutes what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine, and social spending is also expected to increase as Russia holds a presidential election in March.
Next year’s planned budget spending is equivalent to around 20.4 per cent of gross domestic product.
Moscow doubled its target for defence spending in 2023 to more than $100 billion, Reuters reported exclusively in August, as the costs of the conflict in Ukraine spiral and place growing strain on government finances.
The courage and sacrifice of Ukraine have already made the world a safer place and struck a blow for democratic principles. But that accomplishment will only prove durable if Ukraine ultimately defeats Russia and takes back all its stolen territory.
And that can only happen if the Western democracies that already owe so much to Ukraine fund and supply it to the bitter end.
Above all, Ukraine has demonstrated the existential importance of defying a bullying authoritarian regime that is determined to undermine the democratic West.
– The Editorial Board
Ukraine missile strike hits Russia’s Black Sea Fleet headquarters
KYIV—Ukraine carried out a fiery missile strike Friday on the main headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and one serviceman was missing, the Russian Defence Ministry said. Photos and video showed large plumes of smoke over the building in Sevastopol in annexed Crimea.
The ministry initially said one servicemember was killed but then issued a subsequent statement saying he was missing.
The Russian-installed governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev, said no one was injured outside the burning headquarters, and he didn’t provide information on other casualties. Firefighters battled the blaze, and more emergency forces were being brought in, an indication the fire could be massive.
– The Associated Press
Zelensky in Ottawa; to address Parliament this afternoon
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Ottawa late Thursday night for his first official visit to Canada since Russia launched a full-scale invasion in February 2022.
The Ukrainian president and his wife, Olena Zelenska, arrived in a plane adorned with the Ukrainian flag, and the plane’s crew placed the blue-and-yellow flag outside the window of the cockpit upon landing.
The pair were greeted on the tarmac by a small delegation that included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada, Yuliya Kovaliv.
Mr. Zelensky embraced all three before he and the rest of his delegation got into a motorcade and left the airport.
He has a busy Friday planned, including meetings with top Canadian officials and members of the Ukrainian Canadian community.
Mr. Zelensky is also set to address Parliament — his first in-person address since the war began.
He and Mr. Trudeau are expected to sign an agreement to continue strengthening economic ties between the two countries. Mr. Zelensky is also planning to travel to Toronto to meet with business leaders and attend an event, the Prime Minister’s Office says.
Mr. Trudeau visited Kyiv in June and addressed the Ukrainian parliament, pledging Canada’s unwavering support.
– The Canadian Press
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Canada following U.S trip
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continued his North America mission to bolster support on Thursday, as Russia launched its biggest attack on Ukrainian cities in more than a month, firing two massive barrages of cruise missiles while.
Mr. Zelensky visited the U.S. capital with stops at Congress, the Pentagon and the White House in a bid to shore up backing among the top funder of his country’s defence against Russia’s invasion.
It is Mr. Zelensky’s second visit to Washington since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, 2022, and it comes as Mr. Biden’s request to Congress for an additional US$24-billion for Ukraine’s military and humanitarian needs is hanging in the balance.
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan underscored Thursday that Mr. Biden would seek to drive home the point that the U.S. and the world “send the unmistakable message that in the 21st century, a dictator cannot be allowed to conquer or carve up his neighbor’s territory.”
“If we allow that here. it will happen elsewhere in ways that will undermine the fundamental security, not to mention the values that the American people hold so dear,” Mr. Sullivan said.
Mr. Biden has called on world leaders to stand strong with Ukraine, even as he faces domestic political divisions at home. A hard-right flank of Republicans, led by Donald Trump, Mr. Biden’s chief rival in the 2024 race for the White House, is increasingly opposed to sending more money overseas.
– The Associated Press
Zelensky’s schedule of events in Ottawa and Toronto
As Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky prepares to address Parliament this afternoon, here’s a look at his schedule:
- 10 a.m. ET: Governor-General Mary Simon meets with Mr. Zelensky and his wife, Olena Zelenska, at Rideau Hall.
- 10:40 a.m. ET: Mr. Zelensky arrives at Parliament Hill.
- 10:45 a.m. ET: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a welcoming ceremony for Mr. Zelensky on Parliament Hill.
- 11 a.m. ET: Mr. Trudeau will hold a bilateral meeting with Mr. Zelensky, followed by an expanded meeting.
- 1 p.m. ET: Mr. Zelensky is scheduled to give a speech to MPs in Parliament.
- 2:40 p.m. ET: Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Zelensky will participate in a signing ceremony.
- 2:45 p.m. ET: Mr. Zelensky will take questions from reporters in a joint news conference with Mr. Trudeau.
- Approx. 7:30 p.m. ET: Mr. Trudeau and Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland will host Mr. Zelensky for a roundtable with Canadian business leaders in Toronto.
- Approx. 10 p.m. ET: Mr. Trudeau and Mr. Zelensky will attend an event with Canadians, including members of the Ukrainian-Canadian community.