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Ottawa promises to send heavy artillery to help Ukraine defend itself

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced that Canada will send heavy artillery to support Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian invasion.

Mr. Trudeau says he has had discussions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and that Canada will be very attentive to Ukraine’s needs.

He added that more details would be revealed over the next few days about this pledge to supply lethal weapons.

Ukrainians “fought like heroes,” said Trudeau on Tuesday during his visit to Dalhousie, New Brunswick, where he made the announcement on the sidelines of a press conference on funding for care services. long term.

New sanctions

Earlier Tuesday, the Canadian government announced the imposition of new sanctions on 14 other Russian citizens, including Vladimir Putin’s two adult daughters, because of their close ties to the president.

Maria Vorontsova, 36, and her sister, Katerina Tikhonova, 35, are on the list released Tuesday by Global Affairs Canada.

The federal government says the two women, along with 12 other Russian citizens, face sanctions for being close associates of President Putin and complicit in Russia’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine .

“We will continually hold those complicit in Russia’s attacks on Ukraine accountable for their actions,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wrote on Twitter.

Trudeau spoke with NATO and European Union leaders on Tuesday in a virtual meeting hosted by US President Joe Biden.

Global Affairs Canada said in a statement that a report presented by experts from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe last week “confirmed that Russian forces are committing serious atrocities and human rights violations in Ukraine, including war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity”.

The United States and the European Union have targeted Vladimir Putin’s sisters and other family members because they suspect the Russian president used them to hide assets.

Discreet about his private life

Mr. Putin is extremely discreet about his private life, rarely discussing his children in public. He emphasized the virtues of discretion in one of his rare public mentions of his daughters. “I never talk about my family with anyone,” he told reporters at a press conference in 2015, according to the BBC.

Vladimir Putin married Lyudmila Chkrebneva in the 1980s, when he was a KGB agent and she was an Aeroflot flight attendant. They divorced thirty years later.

Their eldest daughter, Maria, is a medical researcher and would also be a businesswoman. The youngest, Katerina, was a professional dancer before becoming a technology developer.

So far, no sanction has been imposed on the woman whom the media presents as the one who has shared her life for a long time with Mr. Putin. In photos of public activities, Mr Putin is seen beaming alongside Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast.

Ms. Kabaeva became a State Duma deputy and later a member of the board of directors of a Russian national media company, whose media promoted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As noted by British tabloids, Ms. Kabaeva’s photo and name recently disappeared from the National Media Group website, as sanctions against Mr. Putin’s intimates approached.

Following the Russian attack in Ukraine, which began on February 24, Canada imposed sanctions on more than 700 individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

Sanctions last week targeted organizations that provided support to the Russian military, directly or indirectly, including the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Integral SPB and Shipyard Vympel JSC.

The European Union has also imposed a series of sanctions, targeting Russia’s lucrative energy industry with an embargo on coal imports, as well as a transaction ban on four key Russian banks with a 23% market share in the Russian banking sector.

The EU has also banned Russian-flagged ships from the ports of the 27 member countries, except for agricultural and food products, humanitarian aid and energy.

Since Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,100 individuals and entities.