TORONTO (AP) — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced more military aid to support Ukraine in its war with Russia while hosting Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal in Toronto on Tuesday.
The new military assistance includes 21,000 assault rifles, 38 machine guns, and over 2.4 million rounds of ammunition.
“We are preparing for our counteroffensive. We need more ammunition, we need more weaponry, we need more military equipment,” Shmyhal said.
Shmyhal thanked Canada for its support since Russian forces invaded in February 2022, which has included billions of dollars in economic and military aid.
Trudeau also said Canada is imposing new sanctions on Russian and Belarusian authorities and organizations in retaliation for the ongoing invasion.
“Ukraine is fighting for the values and the principles that underpin all of our democracies,” Trudeau said. “We will continue to do everything necessary to ensure Ukraine prevails.”
Canada also provided a $2.4 billion Canadian (US$1.78 billion) loan to the government of Ukraine to support essential services, including pension payments and restoring damaged energy infrastructure. Canada’s total commitment to Ukraine has surpassed $8 billion Canadian (US5.94 billion).
Trudeau was also asked about the prime minister’s Web site being down on Tuesday.
There have been a slew of denial-of-service attacks by pro-Russia ‘hacktivists’ on Ukraine, its European allies and U.S. websites since Russia invaded its neighbor last year — few having significant impact. Denial of service attacks consist of a coordinated flooding of a targeted website with junk data to make it unreachable. The attacks are not hacking, though they sometimes can be used to divert attention from network intrusions.
Trudeau said it’s not uncommon for Russia to target countries as they are showing their steadfast support for Ukraine and as they are welcoming Ukrainian delegations.
“The timing isn’t surprising,” Trudeau said. “But in case anyone is wondering, Russia being able to bring down an official government of Canada webpage for a few hours is in no way going to dissuade us from our unshakable support of Ukraine.”
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