July 8, 2023, OTTAWA, ON. Today marks 500 days since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine.
Russia is trying to annihilate the Ukrainian people and destroy the Ukrainian state. Russia is committing crimes against humanity and war crimes on a scale not seen in Europe since the Second World War.
Thousands of innocent civilians have been murdered by Russia’s purposeful bombardment of apartments, schools and hospitals. Thousands of Ukrainian children have been forcibly abducted and sent to Russia. Millions have been displaced from their homes. This is genocide – committed by a member state of the United Nations Security Council.
For 500 days, the undaunted Ukrainian people and the heroic Ukrainian Armed Forces have stood up against Russia’s onslaught. They have bravely defended Ukraine’s statehood and the freedom and democracy of Europe.
Russia – a genocidal, criminal state – must be defeated. The military assistance provided by Canada and allies has supported the Ukrainian peoples’ defence of freedom. But in order to ensure Ukraine’s victory, Canada and our allies need to provide the weapons Ukraine needs to finish the fight. Fighter jets to protect Ukraine’s skies. Long-range missiles to strike Russian arms and ammunition depots. Tanks, artillery and APCs to liberate Ukrainian territory. Canada and allies have these weapons in their arsenals. They need to provide them to Ukraine.
On July 11 and 12, NATO leaders will meet at the Vilnius Summit. The time has come for NATO leaders to announce when and how Ukraine will become a NATO member. Only NATO membership for Ukraine can guarantee the return of peace to Europe.
Today, we come together to mourn the many thousands of innocent victims of Russia’s genocidal war. May Their Memory Be Eternal. Вічная Пам’ять.
We pay tribute to the courageous Ukrainian Аrmed Forces.
We ask God to grant Ukraine Victory.