Artillery vehicle

Defense Minister in Victoria announces $98m in artillery shells for Ukraine

Canada will donate more than 20,000 artillery rounds at a cost of about $98 million to support Ukraine’s response to the Russian invasion, National Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Tuesday in Victoria.

Canada will donate more than 20,000 artillery rounds at a cost of about $98 million to support Ukraine’s response to the Russian invasion, National Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Tuesday in Victoria.

“These shells are compatible with artillery guns supplied by Canada and our allies, including the M777 howitzers we donated which will be crucial in Ukraine’s ongoing struggle to defend its eastern territory – work is already underway. underway to deliver this aid to Ukraine as quickly as possible,” said Anand, who visited the Ukrainian Cultural Center at 3277 Douglas Street ahead of the announcement.

Standard NATO 155mm ammunition will come from the United States.

Canada has provided Ukraine with small arms, specialized equipment such as cameras for military drones, armored vehicles and heavy artillery guns, and has trained Ukrainian forces in the use of artillery guns.

“We are working around the clock to identify and provide even more military assistance to Ukraine with the $500 million we announced in Budget 2022 for this purpose,” Anand said.

The United States announced on Monday that about 20 countries have pledged new security assistance programs for Ukraine, including new anti-ship missiles, additional attack helicopters and tanks, according to the Washington To post.

Forty-seven nations have now joined the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which was organized by the Pentagon to help address Ukraine’s immediate and long-term needs as it seeks to push back the prolonged invasion by the Russian army, he said.

Anand said the additional military aid announced in Victoria on Tuesday demonstrates Canada’s commitment to providing Ukraine with the military assistance it needs to defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. “Canada stands with Ukraine and its people as they resist Putin’s unlawful and unjustifiable aggression,” she said.

At the announcement was Stan Osobik, who moved to Victoria with his wife and three children from Ukraine about 15 years ago and says Ukrainians around the world have always appreciated Canada’s strong support for Ukrainian democracy .

But Osobik said the military assistance offered by Canada so far to help Ukraine defend its right to exist is “really a drop in the ocean.” “It’s a major 21st century military campaign and it’s a major war against a major superpower and thousands of people are dying every day, injured every day.

“It’s not like Ukrainians don’t appreciate [it] – they simply ask that perhaps more could be done to help Ukrainians survive.

Anand told the Times Colonist that Canada and Ukraine are close partners and allies, and Ukrainian Prime Minister and President Volodymyr Zelensky speak frequently – as do Anand and his counterpart Minister Oleksiy Reznikov – about the need for military assistance.

“Just a few weeks ago in Kyiv, the Prime Minister announced an additional $50 million in military aid for Ukraine, including additional drone cameras, small arms, satellite imagery and M777 ammunition, and that’s on top of the more than $130 million in military aid we’ve already committed.

In recent weeks, approximately 300 Ukrainians fleeing war have arrived on Vancouver Island.

Devon Sereda Goldie, president of the Ukrainian Cultural Center of Victoria and the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Victoria, said the community has opened its homes to people from Ukraine and is grateful, but hotel stays and Two-week stipends promised by the federal government have yet to materialize. .

Most Ukrainians arrive in Victoria with few financial resources, she said, and yet have to pay $300 to $400 for mandatory medical exams, including X-rays and blood tests – $1,200 to $1,600 dollars for a family of four.

Settlement agencies that would normally help newcomers with English language classes and other settlement services have yet to receive any federal funding promised in March, she said.

The nonprofit, volunteer-run Ukrainian cultural center raises funds and accepts donations from the community to cover costs for newcomers, and received $100,000 from the Times Colonist Christmas Fund. So far, however, he has received “no government funding dollars,” Sereda Goldie said.

Anand said the federal government is working hard to ensure Ukrainian refugees have the resources they need.

Sereda Goldie said all she could do was keep in touch with the federal government and “hope for the best” that funding was on the way.

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