By Matthew Horwood
March 14, 2022
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a request for Canada to provide more assistance in his country’s defence against Russia, including a no-fly zone over the country.
In a virtual address to Canada’s Parliament on Tuesday, Zelenskyy framed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as an attempt to “annihilate” the Ukrainian people.
He said the Russian military had destroyed memorials, schools, hospitals and housing complexes, and noted that 97 children had been killed since the invasion began on Feb. 24.
During his address, Zelenskyy asked MPs to imagine if Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was happening in Canadian cities.
“Can you imagine the famous CN Tower in Toronto, if it was hit by Russian bombs? Of course, I don’t wish this on anyone. But this is our reality,” Zelenskyy said.
“Imagine someone is laying siege to Vancouver. This is exactly the situation in the city of Mauripol.”
Canada has always been a “reliable partner to Ukraine,” said Zelenskyy, who noted the country was quick to provide military and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and sanction Russia.
“At the same time, we see that unfortunately, this did not bring the end to the war,” he said.
Canada needs to do more to assist Ukraine, Zelenskyy said, which would in turn protect Europe from Russian aggression.
“We are not asking for much. We’re asking for justice, for real support, which will help us to prevail to defend to save lives all over the world,” he said.
Zelenskyy asked the members of Parliament “how many more cruise missiles would have to fall on our cities” until NATO would close the skies over Ukraine.
Zelenskyy has repeatedly asked NATO to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, which would prohibit all Russian aircraft from flying over the country and allow NATO members to shoot them down. But this measure has been repeatedly rejected by Western leaders over fears it could trigger a larger war with Russia.
The Ukrainian president also asked Canada to tighten sanctions on Russia so they would not receive “a single dollar to fund their war effort.” While speaking with Northern European leaders earlier in the day, Zelenskyy called for a full trade embargo on Russia and said NATO had been “hypnotized by Russian aggression.”